(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators will test their recent resurgence when they host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday in an important battle for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The Senators have won three straight and boast an 8-0-1 mark during a nine- game point streak that has rejuvenated the club's playoff chances. Boston currently holds the East's last playoff spot with 76 points, five more than Ottawa, which has played one less game than the B's.
The Bruins are also on a hot streak of their own, having won four of their last five outings (4-0-1) to create a bit of space between them and the Florida Panthers, who are four points behind Boston. The Panthers are idle on Tuesday.
Ottawa has won the first two tests of a three-game homestand and is coming off Sunday's 5-4 shootout win over Calgary. It was hardly an impressive win for the Senators, who carried a 4-0 lead into the third period before blowing the cushion.
In the end, the Sens won't care about style points as the club righted itself and still picked up two points thanks to Erik Karlsson, who scored the deciding goal in the sixth round of the shootout.
In the sixth round, Karlsson snapped in a heavy wrister past the glove of Jonas Hiller, who relieved Karri Ramo in the second period. Craig Anderson then sealed the victory by stopping Josh Jooris' backhand lift attempt.
"I don't think we played our best hockey for any part of the 60 minutes, even though we got a 4-0 lead," Karlsson said.
Alex Chiasson, Mark Borowiecki, Mike Hoffman and Milan Michalek each had a goal for the Senators.
Anderson turned aside 42 shots in the win. The goaltender was playing for the first time since suffering a hand injury on Jan. 21. Although rookie Andrew Hammond went 7-0-1 with a 1.43 goals against average while Anderson was out of the lineup, Sens head coach Dave Cameron will go with the veteran again tonight.
Anderson is 6-9-0 with a 3.39 GAA in 15 career games versus Boston.
Ottawa has won its last four at home and is 16-10-5 at Canadian Tire Centre this season. This is the first meeting between the Bruins and Sens in Canada's capital this season, but Ottawa has won the last two encounters overall.
Boston opened the five-game season series with a 4-2 home win on Nov. 1 before the Sens notched a 3-2 shootout victory in Beantown on Dec. 13. Ottawa then claimed a 3-2 overtime decision on Jan. 3
The Atlantic Division foes will complete the 2014-15 series on March 19 at CTC.
The Bruins have won two straight to complete a four-game homestand with a 3-0-1 mark. Boston rallied for a 3-2 overtime win against Philadelphia on Saturday and the following day posted a 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Daniel Paille scored a pair of goals to help the B's win Sunday's test. After only scoring once in his first 57 games this season, Paille now has four goals in his last six.
Brad Marchand, meanwhile, scored a goal for the fourth straight game. He scored twice on Saturday, tying the game with a power-play goal late in regulation before beating the Flyers with the winner at 3:52 of OT.
David Pastrnak and Loui Eriksson netted a goal apiece for the Bruins on Sunday, while Niklas Svedberg made 36 saves to earn the win.
"I thought in the first period, our forecheck was extremely good," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "We showed some great character there to come out today."
Tuukka Rask is expected to start tonight for Boston. He is 6-2-2 with a 2.17 GAA in 12 career games versus Ottawa.
Beginning with Tuesday's contest, the Bruins are playing six of their next eight on the road, where they are just 13-12-5 this season.