But in the end, the former Senator and his Boston Bruins got the last word in a 7-2 win over Ottawa at Scotiabank Place. Marco Sturm scored three goals while Marc Savard had two goals and two assists. Glen Murray and Paul Mara had the other goals and Patrice Bergeron collect five assists for the Bruins (16-13-2), who won for just the second time in their past five games.
Christoph Schubert and Antoine Vermette both scored to account for the Senators (17-17-1), as they lost for the fifth time in their past seven games.
“I heard some cheers; I heard some boos; some mixed reaction, but I can’t really control what (the fans) are going to do,” said Chara, who left the Senators last summer, signing a five-year, US$37.5-million free agent deal with the Bruins.
“I tried to pay attention to what was happening on the ice and I tried to play effective and smart game,” continued Chara.
“A lot of people think that when you win a game against a former team, it’s special. You can look at it that way, but to me, no matter who we play, we want to win and climb in the standings. I’m happy we got two points.”
Martin Gerber started the third period in goal for the Senators after starter Ray Emery surrendered five goals on 20 shots through the first two periods. Gerber faced six shots in the final period, stopping four.
Tim Thomas went the distance in the Boston goal, making 35 saves.
“He was nervous,” Thomas said of Chara. “He wanted to have a good homecoming and not be embarrassed. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but it was important for me to help him out.”
The Bruins dominated the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the Senators 13-7 and outscoring them 3-0.
“We came out really strong and obviously when you get the lead early, you control the tempo of the game,” added Chara. “It was a great team effort.”
Sturm scored his first midway through the first period after Senators forward Mike Fisher coughed up the puck in his own zone to Stanislav Chistov, who then dished off to Sturm.
Barely a minute later, Murray scored on a rush that started when Thomas made a huge stop at the other end of the ice.
Savard added a power-play goal with 64 seconds to play in the first.
Sturm scored the first two goals of the second period despite Boston being outshot 17-7 in the frame. Sturm converted a perfect pass form Bergeron to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead at the 10-minute mark. He struck again at 15:32 as he completed a two-on-one with Savard, burying a shot past Emery.
Schubert broke Thomas’s shutout bid with just five seconds remaining in the second period.
Savard restored Boston’s five-goal lead with his second of the game at 7:28 of the third period, while the Bruins skated with a 5-on-3 advantage.
With eight minutes to play in the period, Vermette scored a consolation goal for Ottawa when he crashed the crease and stuffed in a loose puck that was lying in the blue paint behind Thomas.
Boston defenceman Mara scored late in the period to close out the scoring.
The Bruins went 3-for-9 on the power play, and the Senators failed to score during six man advantage situations.
“The situation is so competitive that you can’t afford to go on a losing streak, or you’re going to lose a lot of ground,” said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.
“We gave up a lot of odd-man rushes and we definitely need to work on that. We got caught pinching too many times.”
Notes: The Senators will get a chance at redemption as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night and are in Philadelphia to face the Flyers Friday, wrapping up the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule a The Bruins play their final two games before Christmas at home as the host the Vancouver Canucks Thursday and Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.