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Saturday, December 28th (All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (26-10-2) at Ottawa Senators (15-18-7), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins hope that their recent surge at home carries over on the road as they complete a home-and-home series with the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
The Bruins picked up their eighth straight victory at home with last night's 5-0 triumph over the Sens. Reilly Smith scored twice and Tuukka Rask made 33 saves for his league-leading fourth shutout of the season.
David Krejci, Jarome Iginla and Brad Marchand also scored as Boston used a four-goal third period to pick up its third straight victory overall and eighth in its last 10 games.
Smith continued his red-hot play and has five goals and two assists in his last three games. Acquired in July from Dallas as part of the deal that sent Tyler Seguin to the Stars, the 22-year-old has 14 goals and 16 assists in 38 games this season.
"He's been a good player from day one," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said of Smith. "He's just starting to showcase what he's capable of doing."
Rask, meanwhile, won his fourth straight start and has posted a 0.75 goals against average and .976 save percentage over that time. The shutout was the 20th of his career.
The Bruins defeated the Senators for the 14th time in the last 17 meetings and improved to 16-3-2 at home on the season. They are 10-7-0 on the road, but had won 11 straight in Ottawa before the Sens notched a home victory on Nov. 15.
Ottawa was looking to win consecutive games for the first time since early November last night, but saw netminder Robin Lehner yield all five scores on 42 shots faced.
"I don't know what to say," Lehner lamented. "Twenty good minutes and 40 bad ones."
The Senators, coming off a 5-0 win over Pittsburgh on Monday, lost for the fourth time in five games.
Ottawa will rematch with a Boston club tonight that won't have defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. He did not make the trip after suffering a lower-body injury on Friday in a collision with Sens forward Cory Conacher.
Despite Rask's recent success, 24-year-old Niklas Svedberg could make his NHL debut in net tonight for Boston after being recalled from the minors on Friday.
Svedberg has played in 48 games with Providence of the American Hockey League this season, going 37-8-2 with a 2.17 GAA, .925 save percentage and four shutouts.
The Sens may counter with Craig Anderson, who stopped all 27 shots faced in the shutout victory over the Penguins. He is just 4-8-0 with a 3.32 GAA in 12 career starts versus the Bruins, but did stop 30-of-32 shots faced in the home victory on Nov. 15.
12/28 10:30:12 ET