Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
OTTAWA – (Special Preview for Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Two Atlantic Division rivals look to continue their surge toward securing a playoff spot when the Ottawa Senators host the Boston Bruins on Monday. The Senators have won two in a row and eight of 12 to take over second place in the Atlantic – two points ahead with two games in hand on the Bruins, who are 8-2-0 since Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien as coach.
Ottawa defeated playoff-bound Columbus 3-2 on Saturday – its fourth straight one-goal victory – as captain Erik Karlsson notched a goal in his franchise-record 312th consecutive game. “This is going to be one of the greats,” Senators coach Guy Boucher told reporters of Karlsson, who leads the team with 56 points. “I’m behind the bench, so I don’t have to pay for a ticket, but trust me, I’d pay for my ticket every game.” The Bruins have won four of their last five contests after edging New Jersey 3-2 on Saturday. Boston is averaging 3.7 goals since Cassidy took over – with big contributions coming from Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, who have combined for 14 points in the last five games.
Drew Stafford (19)
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), TSN5, RDS (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (34-25-6): Marchand, who leads Boston in goals (29) and points (67), also owns a team-best plus-17 rating and has scored four times in his last five contests. Pastrnak (26 goals, 28 assists) is riding a five-game point streak and veteran Patrice Bergeron continues to raise his production level with a pair of tallies and eight points over his last five contests. Drew Stafford, who was acquired from Winnipeg at the trade deadline, had a goal overturned but notched an assist in his debut with the team on Saturday while primarily skating with Ryan Spooner and Frank Vatrano.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (35-22-6): Karlsson, who passed fellow defenseman Chris Phillips for the franchise’s consecutive games record, has recorded a goal and three assists over his last four games to increase his lead on Mark Stone (48 points). Alex Burrows scored twice against Colorado on Thursday and fellow trade-deadline pickup Viktor Stalberg registered one goal in Saturday’s victory as Boucher rolled four lines consistently. Craig Anderson is 6-2-0 with a .946 save percentage in eight games after missing two months to be with his wife while she went through cancer treatments.
1. The Senators have won the last three meetings and five of six, including a 3-1 triumph on Nov. 24, and play at Boston twice in the final 10 games of the season.
2. Bruins D Adam McQuaid, who received 25 stitches on his neck after being cut by teammate David Backes’ skate blade in Saturday’s contest, should be able to play Monday.
3. Ottawa C Kyle Turris has scored a pair of goals over his last four games to tie Stone for the team lead with 22.