Ottawa had a chance to reach the 100-point plateau for the fourth straight year last night in front of 19,786 at Scotiabank Place, but the Senators came up short in a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins.
The Senators looked weary after wrapping up a four-game road swing last week. Dany Heatley continued his march toward 50 goals with his 46th on the first shot of the game, but after that, only Mike Fisher was able to solve Bruins goalie Joey MacDonald.
"I thought we had more turnovers (last night) than we did the whole road trip and that disappoints me," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "We played so well on the road ... I thought we tried to do more with the puck than we had to do. The turnovers came back to haunt us.
"We played so damn well on the road trip. That's what bothered me. For two periods, we didn't have that attitude to do what we needed to score goals."
While the Senators are the NHL's second-highest scoring third-period team (with 89 goals this season), they couldn't find the net against the Bruins in the final period and the result was Ottawa's second loss in regulation time since March 2.
The objective for the Senators should be pretty simple now as the wait for the playoffs officially begins: Make sure nobody else gets hurt.
The Senators were without defenceman Wade Redden -- who has been troubled by groin problems all season -- left with what was called a "lower body" injury.
Murray said Redden's injury is not serious.
"He was a little tight in the groin area before the game. The ice was not very good and rather than risk it, we decided to let Lawrence (Nycholat) have a game."
Winger Patrick Eaves left with a "lower body" injury after taking a Christoph Schubert shot in the midsection with four minutes left in the second. There was a scary moment late in the first when defenceman Andrej Meszaros went to the dressing room shaking his hand after blocking a shot with his glove, but he returned in the second.
Give the Bruins a little bit of credit. Coach Dave Lewis lashed out at them after a 5-0 loss Sunday in Pittsburgh, then held a 45-minute skate without pucks Monday and made them watch the game tape of the Penguins.
"I don't think it's panic time," said Senators goalie Ray Emery. "We had chances, it was just one of those games where we weren't able to capitalize on our chances. We were on them in the third and we just couldn't put the puck in the net."
Boston captain Zdeno Chara gave his club a 3-2 lead going into the third period by beating Emery with a wrister from the point.
Just 43 seconds earlier, Bruins winger Petr Kalus had tied it 2-2 after a turnover in the Ottawa zone as he beat Emery with a forehand.
The Senators have two days off before they face the Montreal Canadiens in a rare Friday home game.