Despite a sluggish start and some sloppy play, Tim Thomas came up big when needed and Daniel Paille scored a pair of goals as the Bruins win their third straight and move into a tie atop the Eastern Conference with Philadelphia.
The Flyers have played one less game and will technically retain the top spot even though the Bruins have more wins, but that dispute can be settled on the ice as the Bruins next play at Philadelphia on Saturday.
Third Period, 18:56, Bruins 5-2: The Bruins push the lead back to three as Daniel Paille scores his second of the night.
Paille led a 2 on 1 down the left side and opted for the shot, blasting a slapper in from the faceoff circle.
Third Period, 18:23, Bruins 4-2: The Bruins are able to survive that penalty despite a lot of pressure from the senators. Thomas came up big with some key stops.
Third Period, 16:23, Bruins 4-2: The Bruins give Ottawa more momentum as Brad Marchand is called for delay of game for clearing the puck over the glass to give the Senators another power play.
Third Period, 15:55, Bruins 4-2: The Senators aren't done yet, as Jason Spezza pulls Ottawa within two.
Spezza worked a give and go on the left side and beat Thomas with a shot high over the blocker inside the near post.
Third Period, 14:43, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins kill that penalty off as well, as Boston's PK continues to dominate even without shorthanded stalwarts Zdeno Chara and Gregory Campbell in the lineup.
Third Period, 12:43, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins have another penalty to kill as Nathan Horton is sent off for high-sticking.
Third Period, 11:50, Bruins 4-1: Thomas almost makes things interesting as he coughs up the puck in front of the net, but the Senators are unable to gain control to capitalize.
Third Period, 9:46, Bruins 4-1: Things have calmed down on the scoring front but it's still testy out there as Chris Neil tries to stir things up after the whistle. Nothing breaks out other than some nasty glares and a few words from Lucic.
Third Period, 5:50, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins add another as Daniel Paille also scores on a breakaway to push the lead to three goals.
Shawn Thornton sent Paille in for the chance with a perfect pass after Andrew Ference outletted the puck up to Thornton on the right wing.
Third Period, 4:54, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins add a huge insurance goal as Patrice Bergeron takes advantage of an Ottawa giveaway.
Bergeron grabbed a loose puck and broke in alone, deking around Anderson to put it home with a forehand at the right post.
Third Period, 2:46, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins kill off the rest of the major penalty and Shawn Thornton, who was serving it, is back on the ice as the sides are now at even strength. Nick Foligno returned to play on the power play, so it appears a serious injury was avoided on McQuaid's kneeing.
Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 2-1: The final frame is under way in Ottawa, where the sides will start 4 on 4 before Ottawa goes back on the power play barring any further calls.
Second Intermission Notes: The teams traded goals in the middle frame as the Bruins maintained their one-goal lead heading into the third up 1-0.
Chris Kelly continued his surprising season with his 12th goal, this time at the expense of his former team as he put Boston back ahead after Ottawa tied it. Kelly is plus-2 with a team-high four shots and three hits while going 6-2 on faceoffs in 10:31 so far.
The defense, already playing without Zdeno Chara, is now without Adam McQuaid, who was called for a kneeing major and given a game misconduct late in the second. It was an uncharacteristic play for McQuaid, and could earn him even more time off after the league reviews it. The more immediate issue is surviving the penalty. The Senators evened it for two minutes with a Zenon Konopka goalie interference penalty, but will still get to go back on the power play early in the third.
Things stayed heated with Zack Smith's late shot on Tim Thomas after the buzzer, which could make things interesting in the third.
End Second Period, Bruins 2-1: Tempers flare as the middle frame comes to an end and Ottawa's Zach Smith fires a shot after the whistle on Thomas. That leads to a scrum, but nothing further erupts.
Second Period, 19:40, Bruins 2-1: The sides will play 4 on 4 for the next two minutes as Ottawa's Zenon Konopka gets called for a very questionable goalie interference penalty.
Second Period, 17:45, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins will be shorthanded as Adam McQuaid sticks out the leg and catches Nick Foligno, who goes down hurt on the play.
McQuaid gets a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct. he also squared off with Jared Cowen, but the linesmen jumped in and wouldn't let them go. Huge penalty kill here for the Bruins that will stretch into the third period.
Second Period, 13:47, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins take the lead again as Chris Kelly burns his old team with a rebound in front.
Kelly banged it home from the top of the crease after a Johnny Boychuk shot from the point. That's Kelly's 12th goal of the year and the 200th point of his career.
Second Period, 10:10, 1-1: The Bruins getting more involved now. Chris Kelly, Benoit Pouliot and Tyler Seguin out together for a shift after Peverley had been on the penalty kill, and that trio creates a string of chances in close but can't put Boston back ahead.
Second Period, 7:31, 1-1: The Bruins kill off that penalty. Brad Marchand had a shorthanded bid, but the Senators did produce several quality chances on the man advantage.
Second Period, 5:31, 1-1: The Senators will now have the first power-play chance of the night as Dennis Seidenberg is called for interference.
Second Period, 4:23, 1-1: The Senators tie it up as Daniel Alfredsson strikes.
After a blast from Milan Lucic created a long rebound that led to an Ottawa rush, with Jason Spezza feeding it over to Alfredsson for the shot from the right circle.
Second Period, 2:20, Bruins 1-0: Chris Neil with the chance as he breaks in all alone from the right wing, but Thomas again makes a huge save to preserve the lead.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 1-0: The middle frame is under way as the Bruins look to build on their one-goal lead in Ottawa.
First Intermission Notes: That wasn't a period the Bruins will use as a model on how to play, as they came out sluggish and were sloppy with the puck for much of the frame, but they'll take the results as Rich Peverley scored the only goal and take a 1-0 lead into the second.
It was a solid all-around frame for Peverley, who was also 4-0 on faceoffs. the Bruins once again lead in that category, going 10-6 (63 percent). Controlling the draws didn't lead to many opportunities though, as Ottawa had a 13-6 edge in shots and no Bruin had more than one shot in the frame.
Andrew Ference picked up the primary assist on the goal and leads all players in ice time at 9:10. Adam McQuaid is second at 7:18 and chipped in two hits as that pairing has been seeing a surprising amount of time so far. Zach Hamill continues to look strong in his latest recall, nearly getting his first goal on a chance in front. Milan Lucic stepped up to the plate against a legitimate heavyweight, and his fight with Matt Carkner may have woken up the Bruins when they needed it most.
End First Period, Bruins 1-0: The opening period comes to a close. The Bruins struggled to get going, but got the only goal of the period to take a 1-0 lead into the break.
First Period, 18:52, Bruins 1-0: The top line continues the momentum created by the energy of the fourth line, as David Krejci gets a chance at the left post but Anderson again makes the stop.
First Period, 17:30, Bruins 1-0: Good work from the fourth line, with Zach Hamill getting a great chance in front, but Anderson makes the stop to keep it a one-goal game.
First Period, 12:10, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins may have gained some momentum from the fight, as Rich Peverley strikes for the first goal of the game.
Peverley took a long outlet pass on the right wing in the neutral zone, cut to the middle as he gained the blue line and snapped off a quick shot from the slot past Anderson.
First Period, 11:46, 0-0: The gloves come off as Milan Lucic and Matt Carkner clash in a heavyweight tussle. Lucic lands some big shots early, but Carkner weathers the storm and comes on strong late in a pretty even exchange that featured plenty of punches.
First Period, 8:46, 0-0: It's been all Ottawa in the early going, with the Senators building a 9-1 edge in shots so far. Thomas has been the difference, keeping it scoreless despite the lopsided play.
First Period, 7:06, 0-0: Thomas tested again, this time on a shot from the right side by Bobby Butler after Daniel Paille can't control the Andrew Ference pass at his own blue line.
First Period, 5:24, 0-0: The Bruins haven't had much offensive-zone time in the opening minutes, but the Pouliot-Kelly-Peverley line used its speed to create some space on a couple rushes deep into the Ottawa end on taht shift.
First Period, 0:36, 0-0: Thomas sharp early as he robs Colin Greening on a point-blank bid at the top of the crease off a feed from Daniel Alfredsson.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: And they're under way in Ottawa, where the Bruins are looking to post their third straight game and move into the top spot in the East.
7:30 p.m.: The Bruins will open with the line of Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin, with Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk on defense and Tim Thomas in goal.
The Senators counter with Erik Condra, Zack Smith and Chris Neil up front, Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen on the blue line and Craig Anderson in net.
7:25 p.m.: The scratches are official, with Zdeno Chara (lower body), Greg Campbell (foot), who did not make trip, and Jordan Caron out for Boston.
Milan Michalek (concussion), Sergei Gonchar (upper body) and Filip Kuba (upper body) out for Ottawa. Nikita Filatov also listed as a scratch, though he's been loaned to the KHL.
7:20 p.m.: With Thomas getting the nod for this one, it will be interesting to see how he responds after getting pulled in last outing, followed by Rask's shutout on Tuesday. Thomas' track record of success against Ottawa plus a little extra motivation doesn't bode well for the Senators.
7 p.m.: Tim Thomas and Craig Anderson led the teams out for warm-ups, so the goalie matchup expected is indeed on for this one.
6:45 p.m.: Claude Julien addressed the media in Ottawa a short time ago and confirmed that Zdeno Chara will not play against the Senators.
Julien also stated there will be no lineup changes from the win over the Kings on Tuesday other than Tim Thomas getting the start in goal. So Julien will stick with his plan to split his goalies for the back-to-back set of games and Jordan Caron will remain the scratch up front. Daniel Paille, Zach Hamill and Shawn Thornton are on the fourth line again.
6:30 p.m.: The Bruins get right back to work with their second game in as many nights in just about an hour.
Zdeno Chara returned to the ice in the morning, but still is not expected to play in the game as he continues to work his way back from a left leg injury.
The Senators are missing one of their key players as well. Milan Michalek, who leads the NHL with 19 goals, suffered a concussion Tuesday in a collision with teammate Erik Karlsson in Ottawa's 3-2 overtime win over Buffalo.
The big mystery for the Bruins is who will be in goal. Claude Julien announced before Tuesday's game that Tuukka Rask would start that night and Tim Thomas would get the nod Wednesday in Ottawa, where he's historically been dominant. But Julen refused to answer when asked after Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Kings if Rask's 41-save shutout had altered his plans.
8 a.m. ET: After shutting out the Kings 3-0 at the Garden on Tuesday, the Bruins open a two-game road trip Wednesday in Ottawa.
The Senators will be on short rest as well, having beaten Buffalo 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday. The win pushed Ottawa over .500 at 14-13-4, but the Senators remain in last place in the Northeast Division and 11th in the East.
The Bruins are 16-2-1 since the start of November and firmly atop the division at 19-9-1 overall, while trailing Philadelphia by just two points for the Eastern Conference lead.
Bruins coach Claude Julien made a rare announcement of his goaltending plans prior to Tuesday's game when he stated that Tuukka Rask would start against the Kings and Tim Thomas would follow in Ottawa, where he had enjoyed great success in his career. Julien wouldn't answer after the game when asked if Rask's 41-save shutout could alter those plans.
The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here for updates on all the action.