Sens win ninth straight at home
The Ottawa Senators have become unbeatable at Scotiabank Place.
Too bad it's come after they secured their earliest end to a season in 13 years.
Dany Heatley scored his 38th goal on a power play in the second period and the Senators set a franchise record with their ninth straight home win Tuesday night, 3-2 over the Boston Bruins.
Heatley drove a one-timer past Manny Fernandez from the right side 13:57 into the second to restore Ottawa's two-goal lead at 3-1. The All-Star forward scored two goals 38 seconds apart in the third period a night earlier to give the Senators a 3-2 win over Montreal.
Christoph Schubert and Mike Fisher also scored for Ottawa, which beat Boston for the first time this season to avoid being swept in the season series.
"It's obviously unfortunate we're not in the playoff race but we've got some things we want to take into next season and this is the way to do it," Senators left wing Nick Foligno said. "We want to make sure that we're playing well and it seems that we're doing that right now, at home and on the road, and we just want to continue to do that going into next season."
The Senators, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1996, won eight straight at home during the 2002-03 season.
Phil Kessel and Zdeno Chara scored for the Bruins, who had their six-game winning streak that helped them clinch first place overall in the Eastern Conference come to an end.
Marc Savard set up both Boston goals for his 59th and 60th assists.
Schubert took a pass from Jesse Winchester and beat Fernandez with a shot from the left side to open the scoring 4:23 in.
Fisher gave Ottawa a 2-0 lead with a short-handed goal midway through the first. He outraced former teammate Chara for a loose puck and pushed it ahead to drive past the Bruins captain for a breakaway, moving to his forehand before shooting past Fernandez for his 13th goal at 10:25.
"The first 10 minutes were a tough 10 minutes for us, and then throughout the game I think it was a matter of we did a lot of good things, and we did a lot of bad things. It was one or the other," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I didn't find that we were a very consistent team tonight - our good things were good, our breakdowns were major. Our whole team looked like it was a little bit loose tonight."
Kessel, who returned after missing five games with an undisclosed injury, cut the lead to 2-1 with his 32nd goal 3 minutes into the second.
Savard took advantage of sloppy play by the Senators behind their net to gain a turnover and feed the puck out front to Kessel, who beat Alex Auld from the edge of the crease.
"They kept going D to D and I thought, 'Geez, one more try and I might be able to pick this off,' and I ended up getting it and I saw (Kessel) coming in," Savard said. "It wasn't a hard pass, I was just trying to center it out front and he got two whacks at it and was able to chip it over Auld."
Shawn Thornton also returned for Boston after missing three games. P.J. Axelsson, Andrew Ference and Dennis Wideman did not make the trip.
"That's what we're trying to accomplish here is get a healthy team together," Julien said. "We've got some guys back home that are hopefully going in that direction, and this is the luxury that I guess we have right now."
Heatley restored Ottawa's two-goal margin with his third goal in two games after Savard was sent off for boarding.
Chara drew Boston within one with his 18th goal on a power play with 8.8 seconds remaining in the second period.
The Bruins won 10 in a row from Dec. 12 to Jan. 1. ... Senators D Chris Campoli ended a four-game points streak.