April 2, 2009

NHL: Boston 2, Ottawa 1

Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots and was perfect over the final 54 minutes Thursday, leading the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 victory over Ottawa.

The Bruins won their fifth straight, reached 50 victories for the season and inched closer to clinching the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Boston is nine points in front of Washington for the best record in the East, with both teams having five games to play. A Boston win or a Washington loss during the final five games would give the Bruins home-ice advantage throughout the conference playoffs.

Thomas allowed an early goal to Daniel Alfredsson, his 24th of the year, but Milan Lucic tied it 2:27 into the second period when he got a slapshot past Alex Auld.

Marc Savard scored the game-winner on a wrist shot at 3:02 of the third.

The Senators, who have been eliminated from playoff contention, lost their second straight. Ottawa had made 11 consecutive post-season appearances.

Boston downed Ottawa in all five meetings this year.