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Post-game report: Boston 3 Ottawa 2 (SO)

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators

BOSTON (AP) - Patrice Bergeron scored the winning goal in the shootout and Tim Thomas stopped three shots to help the Boston Bruins snap a six-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

On Boston's first shot in the shootout, Bergeron glided in the front of the net and snuck the puck past Ottawa goalie Ray Emery.

Thomas stuffed Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza to give the Bruins their first win in seven shootouts.

The Bruins have defeated the Senators four straight times and are the only team in the NHL to beat Ottawa more than twice. Boston won only its second game in March, while Ottawa lost for the first time in three tries and fell to 7-1-1 since the Olympic break.

Thomas saved 31 shots, including 13 in the second period, to win for the first time in eight tries and improve his record to 9-7-5.

Ottawa, which entered the game as the NHL's highest-scoring team at 3.97 goals per game, fell to 0-2 against Thomas this year. Thomas saved 44 shots in a 5-0 Boston win on Jan. 30, recording the last shutout against Ottawa.

After being held to just five goals in their last four games, the Bruins took a 1-0 lead 1:29 into the first period when Brad Boyes poked a rebound behind Emery.

Bergeron extended Boston's lead to 2-0 just 1:09 into the third period when his pass from behind the net bounced off Emery's stick and into the net.

After Thomas saved all 22 Ottawa shots through two periods, the Senators scored twice in less than 4 minutes in the third period to climb out of a 2-0 deficit and force overtime.

A streaking Spezza received a nifty pass from Heatley in front of the Bruins' net and pushed the puck past Thomas to make it 2-1 at 7:24 of the third period.

Antoine Vermette then tied it at 2 at 11:16 on a back-handed shot from the right of the net.

The Bruins could have turned the game into a blowout early, but failed to convert on a pair of easy opportunities.

First, Sturm missed a wide-open shot from point-blank range midway through the first period. Wayne Primeau then hit the post on another wide-open attempt, this one from left of the net seven minutes into the second period.

Notes: Boyes ranks third in points scored and sixth in goals among NHL rookies. ... Ottawa is 17-5-2 against Northeast Division opponents, but four of their division losses have come to Boston. ... Senators goalie Dominik Hasek, who has missed nine games with a groin injury suffered at the Turin Olympics, traveled with Ottawa to Boston. ... Mark Stuart, playing in his third career game since being recalled from Providence on March 10, assisted on the Bergeron's goal to record the first NHL point of his career. Stuart was Boston's first-round draft pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

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