Ottawa at Boston

Bruins reach win No. 50 to close in on clinching best record in East


BOSTON -- This win gave the Boston Bruins 50. The next one will give them something they value even more: home ice through the Eastern Conference playoffs.

"You can play for one team your whole career and never get 50 wins -- and still have some real good seasons," goalie Tim Thomas said Thursday night after stopping 31 shots to beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1. "It's a credit to the team, the way it's built and the way the guys play together.

"But if you're running the Boston Marathon and you're leading after 20 miles, you don't stop to say, 'Man, I'm leading."'

Milan Lucic and Marc Savard scored for Boston, which would clinch the best record in the East with its next victory or the Washington Capitals' next loss. The Bruins are three points behind West-leading San Jose for the overall lead.

"I don't think anyone thought we would've been in this position this quickly," Boston coach Claude Julien said, "but we'll take it."

The Bruins hit 50 wins for the eighth time in franchise history and the first since the 1992-93 season; they reached 110 points for the first time since '82-83. And it's just two years since they missed the playoffs entirely.

"The position we were in two years ago -- we've come a long way," said forward P.J. Axelsson, whose steal set up the game-winning goal. "But it's still a long way to go."

But Savard was ready to celebrate -- a little.

"We had a tough stretch and now we're heading in the right direction again," he said. "I think it'll be more enjoyable tomorrow when we go to the rink for practice; smiles will be on the boys. It's a great accomplishment for us. ... Fifty wins, I wouldn't have predicted it right away and I don't think any of you did either. I think it's a special feat."

Daniel Alfredsson scored for Ottawa, and Alex Auld made 31 saves.

The Bruins killed off a 6-on-4 in the final 1:55 when Mark Recchi was called for high-sticking and the Senators pulled the goalie for an extra man. Ottawa had a flurry of shots down the stretch before an interference penalty against them evened things up with 2.7 seconds left.

"We were one shot away and it's disappointing but the guys' effort was definitely there," Senators coach Cory Clouston said. "They make you pay. They're a very good team. A couple of little turnovers like that and they make you pay."

Alfredsson gave the Senators the lead when he took a pass from Jason Spezza and put it over Thomas' right shoulder just 5:23 into the game. Lucic tied it with his slap shot 2:27 into the second.

Boston broke the tie in the third when Axelsson stole Brendan Bell's clearing attempt and backhanded it over to the slot for Savard, who put a wrist shot past Auld with 16:58 to play. Savard has two goals and four assists in his last five games.


  • David Krejci, a 22-year-old forward who has 22 goals and 50 assists, was named the winner of the Bruins' Seventh Player award for going above and beyond the call of duty and exceed the expectations of Bruins fans. He got a pickup truck.
  • The Bruins signed F Yannick Riendeau to an entry-level contract.
  • Bruins F Patrice Bergeron played his 300th game.
  • Boston was held without a power play goal for the first time in five games.
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Michael Ryder congratulates Milan Lucic for scoring after setting up the big defenseman. (Getty Images)
Michael Ryder congratulates Milan Lucic for scoring after setting up the big defenseman. (Getty Images)
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Scoring Summary
05:23Daniel Alfredsson (24), Wrist Shot. Assist: Spezza, Campoli
02:27Milan Lucic (17), Slap Shot. Assist: Ryder, Krejci
03:02Marc Savard (24), Wrist Shot. Assist: Axelsson
Penalty Summary
09:33Yelle, 2 min, Holding
17:39Savard, 2 min, Hooking
05:58Winchester, 2 min, Hooking
17:23Ruutu, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
17:23Hnidy, 2 min, Roughing
17:23Winchester, 2 min, Roughing
08:58Bergeron, 2 min, Hooking
18:05Recchi, 2 min, High-Sticking
19:57Spezza, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
Alex Auld58:03312
Tim Thomas59:57311
Game Information
Attendance - 17565
Referees - Francois St-Laurent, Kevin Pollock
Linesmen - Pierre Champoux, Mark Pare
Other Games
NYR   7:00
Mon   7:00
StL   7:30
Cal   8:30
SJ   9:30
Ana   10:00
LA   10:00