Last 10: Ottawa 5-5-0; Boston 5-4-1
Season series: Fifth and final meeting of the regular season between these Northeast Division rivals. The Boston Bruins can complete a sweep of the Ottawa Senators, with all four of their victories coming by a single goal. One was decided in overtime (Patrice Bergeron), another in a shootout (David Krejci).
Big story: Defense and goaltending have reigned when the Bruins and Senators play this season. Ottawa has only come away with a pair of consolation points, but Robin Lehner has a .944 save percentage in four starts against Boston. On the other side, Tuukka Rask has a .952 save percentage in two starts, and Anton Khudobin has a .960 save percentage in two starts.
Senators: This is the finale of a seven-game road trip that also began in Boston on April 2. A season-high five-game losing streak put what at one point seemed like a surefire berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in peril, but Ottawa didn't panic and enters Monday with consecutive wins and a four-point lead over ninth-place Winnipeg in the Eastern Conference. The Senators were outshot 33-11 in New Jersey on Friday, but Craig Anderson was flawless in his third start back off an ankle injury and Jean-Gabriel Pageau's first NHL goal proved decisive in a 2-0 victory.
"We got two points and that's all that matters," Anderson said. "I feel 33 shots isn't a lot of work … that's pretty average for us. So I think the guys did a great job of cleaning up rebounds in front. It felt like I was leaving a lot of junk out there, but the battle level in front of the net was outstanding in getting to the loose pucks."
Bruins: This is the start of a four-game homestand for Boston, which once again tries to clinch a postseason berth. The opportunity was there Saturday for the Bruins to also retake the lead in the Northeast Division with Montreal getting routed in Toronto, but they were unable to take advantage. Their uneven play of late continued with a 4-2 loss to the Hurricanes, who snapped a seven-game losing streak. Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin scored for the Bruins, who were without Bergeron and Brad Marchand due to concussions.
"We're starting to turn that corner," coach Claude Julien said. "I think it will get better. We have another two weeks here and this is where it has to happen. I sense some things coming around. We've just got to push in the areas that we have to improve and we'll be OK."
Who's hot: Milan Michalek scored a goal for the Senators in his return to the lineup Friday. He had assists in three consecutive games prior to getting hurt and missing over a month of action. … Seguin has goals in three consecutive games for the Bruins. Jaromir Jagr has six assists during a four-game points streak.
Injury report: Ottawa is without defensemen Jared Cowen (hip) and Erik Karlsson (Achilles) and forwards Jason Spezza (back) and Mike Hoffman (collarbone). … Bergeron has missed six consecutive games for the Bruins, but has been skating and seems possible for Monday. Marchand has been out the past two games and appears less likely to play.
In short, both teams are fading down the stretch.....