B's top Ottawa before break
BOSTON - The Boston Bruins have hit the Olympic break as the hottest team in the NHL.
Center Patrice Bergeron, a member of Team Canada, scored two goals to power the Bruins to a 7-2 pasting of the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, the final day before the league heads to Sochi.
The Bruins, playing their second straight with defenseman/captain Zdeno Chara having gone early to the Olympics, improved to 8-1-2 in their last 11 games. They are 20-3-2 in their last 25 home games and 23-6-2 at home overall this season.
The Bruins were 1-0-1 without Chara, who carried the Slovakia flag in the opening ceremonies.
Bergeron, registering his first points in six games, also had an assist and scored his 15th and 16th goals of the season. Left winger Chris Kelly scored his fourth goal, first since Oct. 19; right winger Jarome Iginla had No. 17 plus an assist; and left wingers Milan Lucic (No. 17) and Brad Marchand (No. 19, with two assists) and center Carl Soderberg (No. 9, plus one assist) also scored for the Bruins.
Right winger Loui Eriksson, center David Krejci (both Olympians) and right winger Reilly Smith all had two assists in front of backup goaltender Chad Johnson, who won his fifth straight start and is 11-3 on the season.
The seven goals were a season high for Boston, which got multiple points from seven players and had 42 shots on goal.
Right winger Bobby Ryan scored his 21st and defenseman Patrick Wiercioch his fourth for the listless Senators, who did little to help goaltender Craig Anderson. The Sens were down 6-1 when Wiercioch scored on the power play with 4:55 left.
Anderson came in 2-0 against the Bruins this season but never had a chance behind his lackadaisical teammates. He was lifted after the Lucic goal at 3:35 of the third period and Robin Lehner gave up two goals.
The Bruins earned a split of the four-game season series with the Sens, who haven't won a series against Boston since 2005-06.
The porous defense took half of the first period to hit the Senators, but once it came out, it was there to stay.
Ottawa had been a perfect 14 of 14 killing penalties over the last two games, both wins, but the Bruins scored on their first try and were on their way.
Rookie defenseman David Warsofsky earned his first NHL assist with a pass that Kelly redirected for Boston's second goal.
Iginla has 14 points in the last eight games, and linemate Krejci has 14 in the last 11.
Ryan, snubbed by Team USA, scored his first goal in five games, second in 18.
Bruins left winger Daniel Paille left after two periods with an injury.
NOTES: Ottawa C Jason Spezza had an assist and has 14 points in the last 12 games. ... The Bruins have five Olympians - D Zdeno Chara (Russia), Cs Patrice Bergeron (Canada) and David Krejci (Czech Republic), G Tuukka Rask (Finland) and RW Loui Eriksson (Sweden) - and the Senators two - D Erik Karlsson (Sweden) and LW Milan Michalek (Czech Republic). ... Bruins coach Claude Julien is an assistant coach and GM Peter Chiarelli an assistant GM with Team Canada. ... Ottawa C Mika Zibanejad played in his 100th NHL game. ... Sens D Chris Phillips missed his seventh straight game with a lower-body injury, while Bruins D Adam McQuaid missed his ninth straight with a leg injury. ... Eriksson, who has had two concussions this season, needed dental work after taking a stick to the face Thursday night in St. Louis. He played without a cage on his helmet - and apparently got caught again because he was spitting blood during the second period.