OTTAWA The Bruins and Senators have been on a seeming collision course since very early in the hockey season, but they played nice in their final meeting before the playoffs.
There were no fights, no truly questionable hits and little scoring in a goaltending clinic put on in Bostons 3-1 victory over the Senators at Scotiabank Place. The victory was a coming out party for Kazakhstan native Anton Khudobin, who made 44 saves in his first game donning a Black and Gold Bruins sweater.
Erik Karlsson whiffed on a wide open one-timer at an empty net in the final minutes of the third period that could have given Ottawa their point to clinch the No. 7 seed, but it didnt happen.
The loss means that theres still a possibility the Bruins could face Washington in the first round if both Ottawa and the Capitals lose in regulation during their final games of the season.
Khudobin was supported by a first period strike from Benoit Pouliot and a second period score from Greg Zanon. The Pouliot goal was a pretty give-and-go with Brian Rolston while the Zanon game-winner eluded Ben Bishops glove hand after it was launched from the left point.
Jason Spezza got the Senators on the board when his hot shot from the slot bounced off Andrew Ferences ankle, ricocheted off the post and then bounced off the Bs goaltender on its way to the back of the net.
But the story was Khudobin, who made a dizzying array of saves with every method imaginable while spelling Thomas against the Senators. He snuffed out a Daniel Alfredsson wraparound at the post, flashed a quick glove hand on his sizzling shot from the high slot and stoned Nick Foligno on a couple of bids right around the net among his highlight reel stops.
Milan Lucic added the insurance tally for his 26th goal of the season.