for this game

Sens hope to end slide against first-place Bruins

Jan 11, 2011 - 4:07 PM (Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will try to put the brakes on their longest losing streak of the season when they visit the Boston Bruins for tonight's Northeast Division battle at TD Garden.

The Senators have lost five games in a row for the first time since March 11-20 of last season, and tonight, the club is in danger of dropping six straight for the first time in over two years. Ottawa's last six-game slide was from Nov. 7-20, 2008.

Ottawa's offense has been practically non-existent during the current skid, as the Sens have managed a total of seven goals in their last five games. The Senators are ranked 29th out of 30 NHL teams with an average of just 2.21 goals per game this season.

The Sens, who are last in the division and 13 points behind first-place Boston for the Northeast lead, were handed a close regulation loss by a visiting Tampa Bay club when they last played on Saturday. Dwayne Roloson made 31 saves and Adam Hall and Martin St. Louis scored third-period goals to help lift the Lightning to the 2-1 win at Scotiabank Place.

Zack Smith scored the only goal for Ottawa and Brian Elliott had 25 saves in a losing cause.

"The effort was there, the physical play was there, the execution was there, the chances were there," said Ottawa head coach Cory Clouston. "Sometimes you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."

The Sens are playing the first of two straight on the road tonight and they'll also visit the New York Islanders on Thursday. Ottawa is 7-8-4 as the visiting club this year.

Ottawa forward Mike Fisher suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday's game and is questionable for tonight's tilt. Fisher is second on the Senators with 11 goals this season.

Boston entered Monday's game in Pittsburgh tied for first in the Northeast, but the Bruins pulled two points ahead of idle Montreal with a shocking victory in the Steel City.

Pittsburgh appeared to be on the verge of victory, but the Bruins pumped in four goals in the final 3:23 of the third period to stun the Penguins, 4-2, at CONSOL Energy Center.

Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand pulled Boston even by scoring 12 seconds apart before greybeard Mark Recchi supplied the go-ahead goal with 49.2 seconds left in regulation. Gregory Campbell's empty-net marker sealed the victory.

"It was a matter of going back out there with confidence in the third," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "We felt that if we could get that first goal, we could get things going. It took us a while, but the guys believed in that philosophy and we went out there and we did it."

Tuukka Rask needed to make only two of his 23 saves in the third period for Boston, which snapped a two-game losing streak and won for just the second time in six outings.

Boston forward Nathan Horton and defenseman Adam McQuaid both missed Monday's game with undisclosed injuries and are questionable for tonight.

Tonight marks the start of a four-game homestand for the Bruins, who are 9-7-3 at the Garden this season. Boston will also welcome Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Carolina during the residency.

The Bruins and Sens have played twice this season and each time the winning team won in shutout fashion. Ottawa was dealt a 4-0 loss on home ice back on Oct. 30 and the Sens recorded a 2-0 win on Nov. 13 in Boston. Thomas and Elliott recorded those shutouts for Boston and Ottawa, respectively.

Boston has taken five of eight and 12 of the last 16 meetings in this series overall, but the Senators have won three straight in Beantown.