Bruins-Senators Preview

Tyler Seguin has done enough to prove he deserves a spot with

the Boston Bruins for the rest of his rookie season.

Tim Thomas is doing everything he can to convince the Bruins to

leave him in net.

Thomas may be back in the crease in search of a sixth

consecutive win to open the season as the Bruins visit the Ottawa

Senators on Saturday night.

After winning the Vezina Trophy in 2009, Thomas lost Boston’s

starting job last season to rookie Tuukka Rask, who led the Bruins

(5-2-0) within a win of the Eastern Conference finals.

But while Rask has been in net for both of Boston’s losses this

fall, Thomas has been brilliant, going 5-0-0 with an NHL-best 0.60

goals-against average. He’s the first Bruins goalie to win his

first five decisions since Tiny Thompson went 6-0-0 to start

1937-38.

“I feel good. It’s fun to play right now,” Thomas said after

making 20 saves for his second shutout in a 2-0 win over Toronto on

Thursday night. “It was easier to focus on a shutout because we

couldn’t afford to give up a goal and let them back in.”

He got some help from Seguin, the second overall pick in this

summer’s draft, who scored his second goal to extend Boston’s

lead.

The 18-year-old forward could have been sent back to his junior

team after nine games, but coach Claude Julien said Thursday he’ll

be staying with the Bruins.

“He’s a good player,” Julien said. “He didn’t have a ton of ice

(time). … What I like about it is that whenever he’s out there,

he responds well. He’s been skating well. I think he’s heading in

the right direction, and we hope that he keeps building that

way.”

The Bruins hope to remain unbeaten on the road as they begin a

three-game trip. They’ve won both of their true road games, as well

as a “road” game against Phoenix in Prague.

They’ve also won three straight and six of seven in Ottawa,

where Boston captain Zdeno Chara spent four seasons. Since joining

the Bruins, the defenseman has four goals, five assists and a

plus-10 rating in 12 games at Scotiabank Place.

Thomas has won his last six starts in Ottawa, allowing nine

goals, and he’s 16-7-2 with a 2.10 GAA against the Senators

overall, but he’ll face a confident offense that has totaled 10

goals in back-to-back victories.

After beating the Coyotes 5-2 on Tuesday, Ottawa (4-5-1) got

goals from five different players in a 5-3 win over Florida on

Thursday night.

“Everyone’s chipping in and playing well and I think as a group

that’s how we’re going to have success,” center Mike Fisher said.

“I thought everyone did a good job tonight in all areas of the ice

and that was a good feeling.”

Fisher had a goal and an assist, while Daniel Alfredsson did the

same for his fourth multipoint effort in six games.

Alex Kovalev added his third goal in two contests after being

held to one in his previous 25 games.

The Senators, who conclude a four-game homestand Saturday, could

get another boost if center Jason Spezza returns after missing the

last four games due to a groin problem. He has five points in five

games this season.

Goalie Brian Elliott appears likely to make his seventh

consecutive start. Pascal Leclaire remains out with a groin injury

and 19-year-old Robin Lehner has yet to make his first NHL

start.