Sens close out season with 3-1 loss to Boston
Nathan Horton scored a tiebreaking goal early in the second period, Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots and the Boston Bruins won their regular-season home finale 3-1 over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
It was the Bruins' seventh win in 10 games and left them in contention for the Eastern Conference's second seed with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Boston must win its regular-season finale Sunday in New Jersey to have a chance.
The Senators missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
Daniel Paille and Rich Peverley had Boston's other goals and the Bruins completed the season series 5-1 against Ottawa.
Bobby Butler scored for the Senators and Curtis McElhinney had 26 saves.
As Boston gets ready for its opening-round series, the main thing the Senators will need to decide when the post-season starts is if head coach Cory Clouston will be back. GM Bryan Murray was given a three-year extension this week and now he must figure out Clouston's future.
"I can't control that obviously," Clouston said. "I've been here with the organization 2 1/2 years. We had some key injuries. Take away about a 23-game stint, I did a good job, I thought, of turning the team around."
Clouston told the team that he was glad they didn't let down during a tough season.
"I told the guys I'm really proud of how they played the last 27 games," he said. "I'm really proud of them."
The Senators won 15 of their last 27.
"For me, it was just a matter of taking the success we had the last 25 games. We have to build on that," said regular starting goaltender Craig Anderson, who had the game off. "Obviously, it's not good missing the playoffs."
Six seconds after Ryan Shannon was given a double minor for high-sticking defenceman Adam McQuaid, Horton collected the rebound of Zdeno Chara's shot from the point, spun and slid a backhander into the net to move Boston ahead 1:08 into the second period.
Peverley made it 3-1 with a backhander in the slot with 5:08 left in the game.
The Bruins had jumped in front 1-0 when Paille redirected Gregory Campbell's pass from the edge of the crease 12:53 into the game. Campbell quickly collected a rebound of Shawn Thornton's shot at the side of the net and delivered a perfect feed in front.
The Senators tied it late in the first period when Butler scored off the rebound of his own shot when Thomas collided with a pair of players in front and ended up leaving the net wide open.
Notes: Boston RW Mark Recchi played his 1,652nd game, passing Chris Chelios for fourth on the career list. ... The Bruins snapped an 0 for 12 power-play drought with Horton's goal. ... Bruins C Patrice Bergeron and D Dennis Seidenberg were rested and healthy scratches. ... Jason Spezza (21) finished as the only Senators' player with 20 or more goals this season. ... Ottawa went 2-26-2 this season when trailing after two periods. ... Bruins coach Claude Julien bought six tickets and treated a family that had lost their home in a fire in late December. ... The Bruins gave the jerseys off their backs to fans after the game as part of fan appreciation day.