The Northeast Division-leading Boston Bruins appear to be back
on track following their longest pointless streak of the
Now they’re hoping All-Star Tim Thomas can break out of his
Thomas, who could be in net after getting the night off in the
Bruins’ last game, looks to continue his dominance of the lowly
Ottawa Senators on Friday night at Scotiabank Place.
Boston (32-19-7) opened a six-game road trip with a 6-3 win over
the New York Islanders on Thursday, snapping a three-game
regulation losing streak. Six Bruins scored as the team equaled the
number of goals it had during its skid to move two points ahead of
Montreal atop the division.
“Good way to start the road trip,” Boston coach Claude Julien
said. “We worked hard for these two points.”
The Bruins shored up their defense Friday by acquiring veteran
blue liner Tomas Kaberle from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange
for prospect Joe Colborne and two draft picks, including their
first-rounder in 2011.
Julien went with Tuukka Rask in goal against the Islanders, and
the backup stepped up with 34 saves.
The coach had said after Wednesday’s practice that he was going
to give Thomas some days off to keep him fresh, but it seems
probable he’ll be back between the pipes against one of his
Thomas, just 1-2-0 with a 4.55 goals-against average in his last
four games, is 13-3-0 with a 1.47 GAA and five shutouts in his last
16 starts against Ottawa. He has started all three of Boston’s
games against the Senators this season, going 2-1-0 with two
shutouts while stopping 91 of 93 shots.
In the last meeting between these teams on Jan. 11, Thomas made
31 saves while Patrice Bergeron recorded his first career hat trick
in a 6-0 win.
That loss was one of 18 for Ottawa in its last 20 games.
The scuffling Senators (18-30-9) managed to end an 11-game skid
Saturday in Edmonton, but followed that up with Tuesday’s 4-3
shootout loss to the Islanders. Bobby Butler and Ryan Shannon
scored on the power play and Erik Karlsson had the other goal for
Ottawa, which fell to 0-9 in games that have gone to overtime or a
“It would be nice if we could win a shootout once in a while,”
center Jason Spezza said.
After that loss, Ottawa traded center Chris Kelly to Boston for
a second-round pick in this year’s draft. The Senators also dealt
Mike Fisher to Nashville last week, Jarkko Ruutu to Anaheim on
Thursday and swapped goaltenders with Colorado on Friday, acquiring
Craig Anderson for Brian Elliott.
Kelly, who was fifth on the Senators with 12 goals, is suddenly
playing for a contender, and is expected to make his Bruins debut
against his former team.
“It’ll be a weird feeling coming out on the other side of the
rink,” he said. “Ottawa’s all I know, being drafted here and
playing my whole career here.”
Kelly will be trying to add to Ottawa’s misery at home that he
The Senators, losers of 15 of 17 in Ottawa, are 0-6-3 at
Scotiabank Place since beating Pittsburgh 3-1 on Dec. 26. This is
Ottawa’s longest home losing streak since dropping 10 straight from
Nov. 30, 1995-Jan. 25, 1996.
Breaking out of this slide against Boston won’t be easy. The
Bruins, 5-2-0 on the road since Jan. 10, have outscored the
Senators 14-4 in winning their last four games in Ottawa, and have
won seven of their last eight there.