Sens, Bruins put streaks on the line in Boston

A pair of red-hot Northeast Division rivals will meet Thursday in Boston, as the Bruins host the Ottawa Senators in a showdown at TD Garden.

The Senators are in the midst of a five-game winning streak while Boston has won its last four outings to improve to 12-2-2 on the season. The clubs are tied for second in the division with 26 points each, three back of first-place Montreal.

Thursday's contest is the first of five scheduled encounters between the Bruins and Sens this season. Boston has dominated the series recently, winning nine of the last 10 matchups overall. Ottawa was able to halt a four-game losing streak in Boston with a 1-0 decision at TD Garden on Feb. 28, 2012.

Ottawa's current winning streak is the club's longest since winning six straight from Oct. 20-30 of last season. The resilient team has gone on this hot streak without the services of star defenseman Erik Karlsson, who went down with a season-ending Achilles injury on Feb. 13.

The Sens also posted the last two wins without the help of No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson, who is dealing with a sprained ankle. Ben Bishop has been excellent in Anderson's place and is expected to get a third straight start on Thursday.

Ottawa's most recent win came after Peter Regin's goal in the fifth round of the shootout, but a 44-save effort from Bishop was also key in Monday's 2-1 decision over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Bishop stopped 12 shots in the first period, turned aside 18 more in the second and finished with 15 saves over the third period and overtime.

"Bishop to King-3, Checkmate," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said with a smile. "It was all Ben Bishop tonight."

Dave Dziurzynski scored in regulation for the Senators, who improved to 9-1-2 on home ice.

Thursday's tilt marks the start of a five-game road trip for Ottawa. The Sens are just 3-5-0 as the visiting team in 2013.

The Bruins have more than doubled up the opposition during their winning streak, outscoring teams by a combined 15-6 margin over the last four games. The four consecutive victories also came at the end of a five-game road trip, improving Boston's record as the guest this season to 8-1-1.

Boston will play three straight and five of its next six games at home and is 4-1-1 in Beantown this season.

The Bruins are coming off Tuesday's 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Brad Marchand and David Krejci tallied in the second period to lead Boston to victory and improve the team's February record to 7-1-1.

Adam McQuaid scored in the first period and Gregory Campbell added a late marker for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask made 36 saves and is now 10-1-2 on the season.

"Good to get the win," said Rask. "You've got to be confident when you're winning, but you've got to realize we're not playing a full 60 minutes."

Next up for the Bruins is Saturday's contest against Tampa Bay. That will mark the first meeting between the clubs in Boston this season since the initial encounter at TD Garden on Feb. 9 was postponed due to a blizzard. The postponed game was rescheduled for April 25.