OTTAWA – Tuukka Rask and Nathan Horton made sure a tired Boston Bruins squad did enough to put the finishing touches on a perfect road trip.
Rask stopped 33 shots for his second shutout of the season while Horton scored in the third period as the Bruins edged the Ottawa Senators 1-0 on Tuesday to wrap up their six-game road trip with a perfect 6-0 record.
Then again, the Bruins (37-19-7) have been road warriors all season, having compiled a league-best 22-7-4 record away from home.
Rask was solid again Tuesday and combines with veteran Tim Thomas to give Boston one of the NHL’s best goaltending tandems.
“He made some big stops,”Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said of Rask. “At the end of the game he really stood on his head and made some big saves.
“It’s so important to have both goaltenders playing strong for us.”
Horton provided Boston with all the offence it would need, jumping on a loose puck in front of Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson and scoring at 1:43 of the third. The goal tarnished another solid outing for Anderson, who stopped 20 shots in his fifth straight start for the Senators (21-32-9) since being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche.
“To have that kind of solid play behind us has been real helpful for everyone,”said Ottawa’s Nick Foligno.“We’re playing some good hockey and guys are hopeful.
“Guys are having fun again.”
There was little for the 16,826 on hand at Scotiabank Place to get excited about early on. The Bruins, playing the final game of their road trip that included stops in Western Canada, looked a little tired through the game’s first 20 minutes.
“It wasn’t quite our best performance, but we will take it,”said Chara.“You’re not always going to have your best game, but we’re happy with it especially at the end of a long and pretty tough travelling road trip.”
The Senators also started slow as their revolving roster of players continued to familiarize themselves with new linemates.
The best chance of the first came in the final minutes as Patrice Bergeron had a wide-open net, but Ottawa’s Colin Greening managed to get a piece of the puck and bail out Anderson.
The second remained scoreless, but both teams created a number of great scoring chances.
“Raask was very big for them, but I’m not going to say he was the difference,”said Senators coach Cory Clouston.“Our guy was just as good except for one shot.”
Bergeron set up Mark Recchi at the side of the net but he was robbed by Senators’ defenceman Derek Smith, who made a great sliding save. Seconds later Ottawa’s Filip Kuba had a good chance, but couldn’t get enough on his shot.
Jason Spezza took the only penalty of the period, but Anderson made a number of saves to keep the game scoreless.
The Senators’ best chance came as Bobby Butler’s shot went off the post late in the period.
The Bruins are 4-1-0 against the Senators this year with the final meeting in Boston on April 9.
Notes:Curtis McElhinney was Ottawa’s backup goaltender and wore equipment he borrowed from Matthew Spezza, Jason’s younger brother who practices occasionally with the team. Ottawa picked upMcElhinney off waivers from Tampa Bay and his equipment didn’t arrive in time for Tuesday’s game …The Senators were without RW Daniel Alfredsson (back, indefinite), C Peter Regin (shoulder, indefinite), LW Milan Michalek (lower body, indefinite), G Pascal Leclaire (lower body, indefinite), and D Matt Carkner (knee, indefinite). … C Ryan Potulny, acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks made his debut with the Senators. D Filip Kuba played in his 700th NHL game…Boston was without C Marc Savard (concussion, season), D Andrew Ference (lower body, day-to-day), LW Daniel Paille was a healthy scratch.