Boston Bruins (+140) at Ottawa Senators (-105)
The red-hot Ottawa Senators (34-24-11, 79 pts) will try to extend their current winning streak to five, and seriously boost their playoff chances, when they host the Boston Bruins (36-23-11, 83 pts) tonight at the Canadian Tire Centre (7:30 p.m. Eastern).
The Senators have won seven of the last eight games, including four in a row, and are making a late push to crack the Eastern Conference playoff field. The Sens are currently ninth in the East trailing eighth-place Boston by just four points with a game in hand.
Rookie goalie Andrew Hammond has been key to Ottawa’s recent success, allowing two goals or fewer in 12 straight games, which ties a 76-year-old NHL record.
“He’s just been awesome. His play speaks for itself,” Ottawa coach Dave Cameron told the league’s official website. “Any time a guy can come in and have an old coach coach him and he [ties] a record from before the old coach was even born, you go back a long way.”
The Bruins, meanwhile, have lost their last two games (to Washington and Buffalo), but managed to get a single point in the latter. The Bs had been scorching hot prior, winning seven of their previous eight. But the Senators kept pace, and now Boston is in desperate need of a road win in order to keep Ottawa at bay.
“[The game against Buffalo was] a tough one to lose, especially when Ottawa won today, and the teams behind us are chasing us,” said Boston forward Loui Eriksson.. “We create[d] a lot of chances, but when we get that chance, we have to really focus to put it in, too. That cost us the game. I thought we were the much better team today, and we just need to get better on that.”
Boston is listed at +140 in the moneyline, while Ottawa is -105. The Senators are a solid 17-11-5 at home, but the Bruinsh have been decent on the road, going a respectable 15-13-5 on the year.
(Photo credit: By Lisa Gansky (Flickr: IMG_6630) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)