BOSTON â€” The Ottawa Senators gave a big cheer in the visitors’ dressing room to celebrate a return to the playoffs after sitting out last season.
Then they turned their attention to the weekend.
“We’re going to keep pushing,” coach Guy Boucher said on Thursday night after the 2-1 shootout victory over Boston gave them a spot in the post-season and a one-point lead over the Bruins in the Atlantic Division.
The Senators have two games left, against the Rangers and Islanders; Boston has one, against the NHL-leading Washington Capitals. Either team can finish as high as second in the division or as low as fourth, which would relegate it to a wild-card berth.
So can Toronto.
“That was also the message in the room,” Boucher said. “Right now, it’s great. But also we want more.”
Kyle Turris scored the only goal in the shootout, Alexandre Burrows scored in regulation, and Craig Anderson stopped 28 shots and three more in the shootout to help the Senators snap the Bruins’ six-game winning streak.
Anderson stopped Drew Stafford, who scored Boston’s only goal, and Ryan Spooner before straddling the goalpost to turn away David Pastrnak’s attempt at the end.
Tuukka Rask stopped 25 shots for Boston, which went 0-4 against Ottawa this season. The Senators had never swept the Bruins in a season series.
“Our record of 0-4 doesn’t really tell the real story, I think,” Bruins forward David Krejci said. “So if it happens that we play them (in the playoffs), I feel confident in this team that we can get the job done.”
Ottawa has 96 points to 95 for Boston after entering the night tied. The Senators have the head-to-head tiebreaker but not the most important one: regulation and overtime wins.
Stafford gave Boston a 1-0 lead on a power play in the first, but the Senators tied it in the second on Burrows’ unassisted goal. At the end of regulation, both teams seemed happy with the guaranteed point â€” especially the Senators.
“We’re just trying to get to overtime. We’re playing it like we’re up a goal,” forward Mark Stone said. “We knew the implications. For us, once that final buzzer went, we wanted both points. We wanted to get as high as we can in the standings.”
The Bruins were without leading scorer Brad Marchand, who was suspended earlier in the day for the last two games of the regular season for spearing Tampa Bay defenceman Jake Dotchin in Boston’s 4-0 win on Tuesday. Marchand lifted his stick with force into Dotchin’s groin while the two were battling in front of the Lightning net.
The Bruins gadfly said it was a “very, very selfish and undisciplined” move but said he was glad the team had already qualified for the playoffs.
NOTES: Ottawa defenceman Erik Karlsson missed the game with an unspecified injury. He recently missed two games with an injured left foot. … Boston defenceman Torey Krug was out of service after just three shifts after colliding leg-first into the boards. The team did not specify the injury. … The only remaining teams that have never swept Boston in a season series are Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.
Senators: Finish up the season at the New York Rangers on Saturday and the Islanders on Sunday.
Bruins: Conclude the regular season at home against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Jimmy Golen, The Associated Press