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5

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 27th (All times Eastern)

Ottawa Senators (15-17-7) at Boston Bruins (25-10-2), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The disappointing Ottawa Senators hope to record consecutive wins for the first time since early November, as they visit the Boston Bruins on Friday for the opener of a home-and-home series.

The Senators halted a three-game slide just before the Christmas break, shocking the Pittsburgh Penguins in Monday's rout at Canadian Tire Centre. The Penguins had won seven in a row heading into the meeting, but left Ottawa with a 5-0 loss.

Erik Karlsson collected a goal and two assists and Craig Anderson posted a 27- save shutout, as Ottawa slammed the visiting Pens. Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris, Zack Smith and Cory Conacher each lit the lamp once in the blowout.

"Everybody came to play," Anderson said. "We grinded it out and we made it hard on them. We did the things we need to do to give ourselves a chance to win the game."

Sens forward Mika Zibanejad missed Monday's game with an upper-body injury, but he could be back for this evening's tilt in Beantown. Zibanejad has eight goals and seven assists in 29 games for Ottawa this season.

Ottawa will try to build off Monday's triumph by recording consecutive wins tonight for the first time since a three-game run from Nov. 5-9. Paul MacLean's club has battled inconsistency all season long and the Sens enter this home-and-home set in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, trailing first-place Boston by 15 points.

The Sens did manage to record a win in their only meeting with Boston this season, as the Bruins fell 4-2 at Ottawa on Nov. 15. Jason Spezza tallied a goal and an assist for Ottawa and Anderson stopped 30 shots for the win.

It marked the second straight win for the Sens over Boston following a five- game slide in the series. The Bruins still have claimed 13 of the past 16 meetings overall and have won six of the last eight encounters at TD Garden.

Boston, which will make the return trip to Ottawa on Saturday, is aiming for a third straight win tonight after outscoring the opposition by a 10-3 margin over its last two outings.

After downing the visiting Sabres by a 4-1 count last Saturday, the B's posted a 6-2 triumph Monday night in Nashville. Jarome Iginla scored twice as Boston used a terrific special teams effort to subdue the Predators in Music City.

Boston went 3-for-3 on the power play en route to winning for the seventh time in its last nine games. Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg each recorded a goal and two assists for the Bruins, while Tuukka Rask stopped 32 shots for the victory.

The win was the 400th in Claude Julien career as a head coach. Julien has recorded 281 of those victories with the Bruins.

"You hope as a coach that there's lots more ahead for you," Julien said.

Boston is 15-3-2 as the host this season and has won seven straight on home ice. The Senators are 7-7-3 as the visiting team and have dropped three in a row on the road.

12/27 10:37:42 ET