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Bruins aim to beat Senators for first time this season

Feb 18, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA;  Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) reacts with left wing Nick Foligno (17) after a tip in goal by center Trent Frederic (11) (not pictured) during the first period against the New York Islanders at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins will look for their second consecutive home win when they host the Atlantic Division rival Ottawa Senators for the first time this season on Monday afternoon.

League-leading Boston has won three straight after cruising to Saturday’s 6-2 win over the Islanders, its first home action since losing to Washington a week earlier.

“(Last Saturday) we didn’t get one here coming back off the break and it ticked us off,” Bruins forward Nick Foligno said. “Something we talked about at the start of the year was being a real hard team at home. … We wanted to get back to that (Saturday).”

It was a memorable Saturday for the Bruins. Not only did Trent Frederic score twice and captain Patrice Bergeron assured his 10th consecutive 20-goal season, but Jake DeBrusk posted a goal and an assist as he returned from a 17-game absence due to hand and lower-body injuries.

It all added up to the seventh six-goal effort of the season for Boston, which is a whopping 23-2-3 at home.

“It’s fun having some of the older guys in here,” Foligno said. “I think we realize how special this team is (having been) around a long time. This is something we haven’t seen before. We’re cherishing this and we’re not going to let it go to waste.”

DeBrusk provided an immediate boost to the lineup as he returned to his positions on the top line — alongside linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand — and power-play unit.

“The poise in and around the net, he’s high end,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said.

When they take the ice Monday, the Bruins will look to bounce back against an Ottawa team that they have yet to beat this season. However, this will be the first of the two meetings in Boston to complete the head-to-head series.

The Senators handed Boston its first loss of the season in a wild 7-5 affair on Oct. 18 and then nabbed a 3-2 shootout win on Dec. 27.

Ottawa has notched points in its last four games (3-0-1) after rolling to a 7-2 Sunday win over St. Louis.

Tim Stutzle (two goals, one assist), Alex DeBrincat and Brady Tkachuk (one goal, two assists each) all had three points in the Senators’ most prolific offensive showing since the initial meeting with Boston.

“There’s so many times when you don’t win that you shake your head that our best players weren’t our best players,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “When they are, you usually win.”

Ottawa scored four goals in the second period and two in the third on Sunday, with Ridly Greig’s first career goal in his ninth NHL game concluding the scoring.

“As a team, we’re playing way better than we did and we’re holding onto pucks and making plays. It’s a lot of fun right now,” Stutzle said.

Two days earlier, the Senators suffered their only loss of their current streak, falling 4-3 in overtime to Chicago, which had just 41 points as of Sunday. Only the Anaheim Ducks have fewer points.

“Our group is more mature now that they’re letting games go,” Smith said. “People on the outside made so much noise about losing to Chicago, but any team can beat any team. and We’re witness to that.”

–Field Level Media

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