The Boston Bruins haven’t fully found the form that lifted them to the Presidents’ Trophy a season ago, though there are recent signs that they’re not far off.
The Bruins have won four of six and can move above .500 for the first time this season when they host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
Boston (6-6-0) won 3-2 in overtime at Buffalo on Thursday, outshooting the Sabres 37-15. Brad Marchand tied the game in the third period before scoring in the extra period.
"It doesn’t matter how you get a win on the road – you get the two points, and we’re going to be happy with that," Marchand told the team’s official website. "Hopefully we can continue to build tomorrow, and the day after that."
The forward added an assist to double his point total after managing a goal and two assists through 11 games.
"He just showed his true colors, and what he can do if he decides to play the way he can," coach Claude Julien said. "He’s got good speed, and he can be pretty slippery, but he’s been playing a lot on the outside, with the puck and without it, and it doesn’t bode well for him. So it’s nice to see him get rewarded with the things he needs to do. Hopefully that encourages him to do a little bit more."
Marchand totaled three goals and three assists in four games against the Senators last season, while teammate Patrice Bergeron had two goals and five assists in the series.
The teams split the 2013-14 matchups, but the Bruins won the two played in Boston by a 12-2 total and have taken eight of the last 10 home meetings with Ottawa.
Home success has been harder to come by for the Bruins this season with a 2-4-0 record and 13 goals. Ottawa has limited road opponents to nine goals in five games.
The Senators (5-2-2) have cooled off after a 4-1-0 start and fell 5-4 at home in a shootout to Chicago on Thursday.
Ottawa has been clicking offensively with nine goals in two games, but it’s allowed 122 shots on goal in the past three contests.
"For our group to play the way we did and to get a point out of it, I think it’s a great way to continue momentum," coach Paul MacLean said. "We had a lot of great efforts, and we can feel pretty good about it."
Clarke MacArthur has three goals and an assist in the last two games.
Craig Anderson faced 39 shots against the Blackhawks to make it 84 in his last two games, and he hasn’t seen fewer than 30 in any of his five starts. He’s 2-2-1 with a 2.38 goals-against average.
Anderson is 2-4-0 with a 4.06 GAA in Boston.
Boston went with backup Niklas Svedberg against Buffalo, likely setting up Tuukka Rask to return to the net. The 2013-14 Vezina Trophy winner has been about as consistent as his team, going 4-4-0 with a 2.82 GAA. Rask posted a 2.03 GAA over the past three seasons.
He’s 5-2-0 with a 2.14 GAA against the Senators.