Jason Spezza felt relief on Friday night.
The Ottawa Senators' captain was a big key to his team scoring four consecutive goals to beat the Boston Bruins 4-2.
With the victory, the Senators ended the Bruins' 11-game winning streak in Ottawa. It's been so long since the Senators beat the Bruins at home that only Spezza, Chris Neil and Chris Phillips remain on the roster from their previous victory.
The win was welcome for the Senators, who were coming off a 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
"We feel like that's a gritty win for us getting down a couple goals against a team we hold to a high standard," Spezza said. "It's a big emotional win for us for sure."
Jared Cowen, who struggled at times this season, scored the winning goal.
"It's a good step for him, not just from scoring, but I thought he had a real solid game against a real difficult team and difficult opponents," Senators coach Paul MacLean said.
"I thought both he and Eric Gryba were very competitive and very physical in the matchups that they had against difficult opponents."
Spezza, Bobby Ryan and Neil also scored for the Senators. Craig Anderson was solid stopping 30 shots.
Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins as Tuukka Rask faced 31 shots.
After a rough start, things turned around for the Senators with a solid third-period effort that was led by their captain.
Spezza tied the game 2-2 early in the third, scoring from the side of the net off a pass from Erik Karlsson at the point. It was Spezza's first goal in five games.
"It's been a few games for me and it was an important game," Spezza said. "We were using this game as a bit of a measuring stick and it was a big goal."
Rask said he felt the Bruins started off strong, but had a few lapses throughout.
"It's one of those days when you're not on top of your game you don't even know he's there and I didn't know (Spezza) was there," Rask said. "I stretched myself there, but I couldn't get my pad on it and it's a goal."
The goal seemed to energize the Senators. Anderson then made a great save on Carl Soderberg. Soderberg had a second chance and kept shoving at the puck until it crossed the line, but upon review it was clear the whistle had blown.
"It was a good rebound game for everybody," Anderson said. "We've got something we can build off of now."
The Senators took their first lead of the game at 5:42 of the third on Cowen's third of the season as he beat Rask through the legs.
Ryan's goal at the halfway mark of the period sealed the victory as he took the puck from Reilly Smith and beat Rask through the legs to give Ottawa a 4-2 lead.
Ryan had to leave the game with just over three minutes remaining after taking an elbow to the head by Dennis Seidenberg. There was no penalty on the play.
MacLean said he was given no explanation by the officials and, in his opinion, believes the play is worthy of being reviewed.
"All the ones that you see around the league in the first 20 games, it certainly seems that one could be reviewed as well," the Senators coach said.
Ryan will be evaluated Saturday as MacLean had no further updates on the winger's status following the game.
Seidenberg felt for Ryan and said there was no intent to injure him.
"The puck is loose, I'm going for the puck and I'm turning into the puck and I think he's reaching," Seidenberg said. "I would never go after a guy's head and I hope he's fine so that's all I can say."
Ottawa had a poor start to the first period, giving up two goals and being outshot 13-6.
Eriksson opened the scoring at 6:03 of the first as he tipped Matt Bartkowski's shot. Just over three minutes later, the Bruins made it 2-0 as Marchand made his way between Zack Smith and Colin Greening and beat Anderson with a great wrist shot.
The Senators salvaged the period at 19:10 as Neil scored his third of the season and beat Rask to the top left corner to make it 2-1.
"Any time you score late in the period, it's a big momentum swing for you if you can take advantage of it," MacLean said. "I felt we were getting stronger and better as the game went along."
The Senators wrap up their five-game homestand Sunday afternoon against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Notes: Defensemen Patrick Wiercioch and Joe Corvo were healthy scratches for the Senators. Right wing Erik Condra missed his sixth straight game with a leg injury. ... The Bruins were without defenseman Adam McQuaid, who has a lower-body injury and right wing Jordan Caron was a healthy scratch.