Chara, who left the Senators for the Boston in the off-season, scored the winning goal Tuesday as the Bruins beat the Ottawa 3-2. But the star defenceman admitted that he wished he was gearing up for the playoffs this year, as he had with past Senators teams.
“It’s different that’s for sure,” Chara said. “You would like things to be different, but you have to deal with it.”
Chara has now scored two game winners against his former teammates this season, but says all that really counts is the two points.
“As a team we’re happy with the win,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who scores.”
Patrice Bergeron and Petr Kalus also scored for Boston (35-35-6). Joey MacDonald stopped 32 shots for his third win of the year.
The victory put an end to the Bruins’ five-game losing streak.
Dany Heatley and Mike Fisher scored for the Senators (45-24-8). Ray Emery faced 17 shots.
After playing the last four games on the road where Ottawa picked up seven of a possible eight points, the Senators returned home with a lacklustre effort.
“We played so damn well on the road,” said Ottawa coach Bryan Murray. “The first and second period we just didn’t have that attitude. I thought we were careless and had a lot of turnovers.”
The Senators also failed to make the most of the man advantage going 1-for-7 on the power play. Ottawa is 4-for-47 against Boston this season.
“I’m not sure what it is against the Bruins,” said Senators defenceman Joe Corvo. “We just can’t seem to click. It’s weird.”
Lawrence Nycholat, a defenceman acquired at the trade deadline, played his first game as a Senator as Wade Redden had the night off with what Ottawa described as a lower body injury.
“Wade just felt a little tight in the groin and with the ice being a little rough we thought it was better to be careful,” said Murray. “It was a last-minute decision.”
Ottawa opened the scoring in the first minute as Heatley scored his 46th goal of the season for his 200th career point as a Senator.
The Bruins tied the game at 7:40 as Bergeron made the most of a two-man advantage with Boston’s first goal in four road games.
Boston had been looking to bounce back following a 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh this past Sunday.
“We had a tough one against Pittsburgh and I think the guys responded well (Tuesday),” said MacDonald. “I thought our defence played pretty well and the guys let me see the puck.”
Fisher put Ottawa back ahead at 1:49 of the second with a power-play goal, his 20th of the season.
Boston regained the lead, scoring two goals 47 seconds apart. Kalus scored his first of the season as he took advantage of an Ottawa turnover before Chara beat Emery with a point shot to give Boston a 3-2 lead.
“They capitalized on the chances they got,” said Fisher. “We got power plays early on and didn’t take advantage. We need to be better, more hungry and bury those chances.”
The Senators lost right-winger Patrick Eaves late in the second after it appeared he took a shot off the ankle.
The win gives Boston a 4-3 lead in the season series, with the two teams set to meet for the last time on April 7.
Notes: LW Oleg Saprykin and RW Brian McGrattan were healthy scratches for OttawaaThe Bruins were without LW P.J. Axelsson (wrist, out for season), RW Glen Murray (groin, indefinite) while D Jason York, D Bobby Allen and RW Chuck Kobasew were healthy scratches.