Senators drop Bruins
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins held Fan Appreciation Night on Sunday at TD Garden, but the sellout crowd could not have appreciated what happened to the hometown team.
Rookie Jean-Gabriel Pageau, playing in his ninth NHL game, snapped a 2-2 tie with 3:34 left, leading Ottawa a 4-2, regular-season-ending victory over Boston that moved the Senators into the No. 7 spot and dropping the Bruins to No. 4 in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Senators, who have battled through a rash of injuries, will face the second-seeded Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. Ottawa went 2-1-1 against the Canadiens this season.
Meanwhile, the Bruins, who lost the Northeast Division title to Montreal by going 0-1-1 over the final weekend (including Sunday's game, the makeup of a contest postponed because of the Boston Marathon bombings), will open against the fifth-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston was 3-1 against Toronto this season.
Pageau beat Tuukka Rask with his second NHL goal, and Kyle Turris added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds.
Defenseman Erik Karlsson assisted on the last two goals.
Robin Lehner made 34 saves in the win, only the second victory for Ottawa over the Bruins in the past 15 meetings.
Ottawa grabbed a 2-0 lead on goals by Erik Condra (No. 4) and defenseman Jared Cowen (No. 1). But the Bruins struck for two goals in 18 seconds bridging the second and third periods. Rich Peverley (No. 6) scored a power play goal with 3.4 seconds left in the second, and Dennis Seidenberg, who had the second assist on the Peverley goal, scored just 14 seconds into the third.
The Senators lost veteran defenseman Chris Phillips to an undisclosed injury in the first period.
Rask had been 4-0 lifetime against the Senators.
Both teams wasted an early power-play chance and the game remained scoreless until the Senators took the lead at 16:59 of the first period. Rask stopped Pageau, but Condra was there to slide home the rebound, just after defenseman Johnny Boychuk was caught on the boards throwing heavy body checks and taking himself out of the play.
Soon after, Ottawa's Chris Neil and Boston's Milan Lucic engaged in an impressive heavyweight battle, both landing all kinds of blows.
As the first period buzzer sounded, Brad Marchand decided it was a good time to go after Karlsson, slashing him to get a penalty at 20 minutes of the period. Nothing came of the power play that opened the second period.
But the Sens made it 2-0 at 10:33 on Cowen's goal, after Ottawa started taking control of the play.
NOTES: Boston's Jaromir Jagr missed his second straight game with flu-like symptoms. With Jagr out, former Senators Kaspars Daugavins dressed, and made a nifty move for the first big scoring chance of the game. ... Center Patrice Bergeron captured two awards outright and was the season's No. 2 star when the Bruins gave out season awards before the game. Rask was the No. 1 star (Tyler Seguin No. 3) and Gregory Campbell won the John Bucyk community award, and Bergeron captured the Eddie Shore (hustle and determination) and Elizabeth Dufresne (top player at home games). ... Fan Appreciation Night had the Bruins giving out prizes throughout the game. ... The Bruins won the first four meetings with Ottawa, by a combined 10-6, one in overtime, one in a shootout. ... The TD Garden bull gang quickly turned the place from a basketball arena to a hockey rink in under three hours following the Boston Celtics' afternoon game. ... Campbell, Zdeno Chara, Seguin and Andrew Ference played in all 48 games for the Bruins, while Phillips, Kyle Turris, Zack Smith, Condra and Chris Neil all went in all 48 for the Senators, who were hammered by injuries during the abbreviated season and just got defending Norris Trophy winner Karlsson back for the final three games, from a sliced Achilles tendon.