BOSTON -- The Bruins finished their home portion of the regular season 22-13-6 with a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Rich Peverley, Nathan Horton and Daniel Paille all scored for the Bruins, while Tim Thomas made 31 saves in net for his 35th win of the season.
Marlborough, Mass., native Bobby Butler had the lone Ottawa goal.
The Bruins close out the regular season Sunday at New Jersey. Heading into Saturday night's NHL action, they could play either the Buffalo Sabres or Montreal Canadiens in the first round and still could finish with the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
Thomas on the verge of history -- Tim Thomas entered Saturday’s game with a chance at history. If Thomas could maintain his .9376 save percentage -- which was .001 ahead of Dominik Hasek's record-setting mark of .9366 in 1998-99 -- through the final two games of the regular season, he would hold the record. Thomas finished Saturday's game with 31 saves on 32 shots and now has a .9382 save percentage. Thomas is scheduled to sit Sunday with Tuukka Rask getting the start, so as long as Thomas doesn't play, he will break the all-time regular-season record.
Paille securing spot in playoff lineup -- Daniel Paille continued to secure his spot for the playoff lineup Saturday by scoring the Bruins first goal of the game, giving him three goals and one assist in his past four games. Paille has been doing everything asked of him and more over the past four games and can plan on being where he was Saturday in the playoffs -- skating on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton.
Horton getting revved up for first playoff appearance -- With his first Stanley Cup playoff appearance almost here, Nathan Horton has decided to enter the playoffs fired up. Horton scored his 26th goal of the season Saturday and then got into a fight with Senators forward Zach Smith. Horton had that edge to his game going that usually leads to goals for the power forward.
Peverley with a beauty -- Rich Peverley scored a beautiful goal 14:52 into the final frame as he took the puck from the wing, stick-handled across the middle around two Ottawa defenders and beat Senators goalie Curtis McElhinney for the goal. Ironically, Peverley’s last goal came on March 15 and was also a beautiful display of stick-handling in which he split the Columbus defense for a short-handed goal. Peverley really does possess some amazing stick skills and speed, and that is the type of game-changing qualities you need in the playoffs.
Power play finally lights the lamp -- Nathan Horton’s goal at 1:08 of the second period came on the power play and was the Bruins’ first power-play goal since Brad Marchand’s game-winner at Philadelphia in a 2-1 win March 27. The power play finished the game 1-for-4.
The Recching Ball rolls to another milestone -- Congrats to Bruins veteran forward Mark Recchi who took over sole possession of fourth all-time in regular-season games played with 1,652 games. Recchi got a standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd prior to a faceoff in the second period.
Bergeron and Seidenberg sit, Hnidy and Seguin play -- Bruins coach Claude Julien decided it was best to rest some of his key players Saturday, as he gave maintenance days to forward Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. In Bergeron’s place between wingers Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand was Tyler Seguin. Seguin had been a healthy scratch against the New York Islanders on Wednesday and the signs have been pointing toward him having the same role in the first round of the playoffs. But Julien apparently thought today was a good chance to see if the 19-year old rookie can help in the postseason. Hnidy meanwhile, needed to stay fresh, so Julien decided to get him in there, as he suggested he would on Friday.
Here’s what the defensive pairings and forward lines looked like to start game: