(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators closed 2014 on a positive note and will try to begin the new calendar year the same way when they visit the Boston Bruins for Saturday's matinee at TD Garden.
Ottawa was able to enter 2015 with a victory, as it halted a three-game slide with Monday's 5-2 decision over the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
The Sens have had four days off since the win over the Sabres. They could likely use the rest as Saturday begins a stretch of six games in 11 days, with five of those tilts coming on the road where Ottawa is 7-10-3 this season.
Ottawa will play a home game tomorrow against Tampa Bay before heading out on a four-game road trip.
The Senators used Bobby Ryan's fourth career hat trick to subdue the Sabres in their last trip to the ice. Ryan's three-goal outburst gives him 10 goals this season, leaving him one behind Mike Hoffman and Clarke MacArthur for the team lead.
"To come out of my shell offensively was due," Ryan said. "This is an opportunity for us to start stringing wins together."
Ryan scored Ottawa's first three goals and MacArthur and Colin Greening also found the net, ending the Senators' 0-2-1 skid. Craig Anderson made 19 saves in the win and only faced two shots in the third period.
The win pushed the Sens' record to 4-3-2 since firing head coach Paul MacLean and replacing him with Dave Cameron.
Boston lost two of its last three games in December and ended 2014 with a home shootout loss to Toronto on New Year's Eve. The Bruins did well to earn a point, however, rallying from down 3-1 to force overtime before eventually losing when Nazem Kadri scored the deciding goal of the shootout for the Maple Leafs.
Kadri opened the fifth round by shuffling a backhander off Tuukka Rask's pad and through his legs to put Toronto ahead. David Krejci then missed the net for Boston to end the game.
Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist, while Krejci and Krug also lit the lamp in regulation. Rask stopped 18 shots for the Bruins, who began a three- game road trip with a 5-2 win over Detroit on Monday.
"We need to be ready to play 60 minutes," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
Boston, which is two points out of a playoff spot and five points ahead of the Sens in the Eastern Conference standings, fell to 12-6-3 as the host this season.
The Bruins and Sens have split the first two meetings this season, both of which were also played in Boston. The B's have claimed three of five in the series overall, but Ottawa halted a three-game road slide in Beantown with a 3-2 shootout win over Boston on Dec. 13.
Anderson will get the start today for Ottawa and owns a 5-9-0 record and 3.50 goals against average in this series.
Boston, which also plays tomorrow in Carolina, could opt to use backup Niklas Svedberg over Rask this afternoon. Rask is 6-2-1 with a 2.09 GAA in his career against Ottawa. Svedberg has never faced the Sens.