Ryan breaks 3rd-period tie, lifts Senators over Bruins 6-4

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OTTAWA, Ontario — The Ottawa Senators keep finding ways to win.

This time they did it with a shot off the skate of Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.

Bobby Ryan's third-period goal snapped a tie and lifted the Senators to a 6-4 victory over the Bruins in a back-and-forth game on Thursday night.

"We're not critiquing too much when we come in with two points right now," said Ryan, who was credited with the winner. "Morale is high, so you don't want to mess with that."

The surging Senators moved within two points of the Bruins in the race for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa has a game in hand.

"We won a big game here, but that's all we've done," Senators coach Dave Cameron said. "We're not in the playoffs yet. We'll enjoy this, but reality hits again (Friday). We're still on the outside looking in, and I'm hoping that balance brings out the best in us."

Kyle Turris netted two goals, and Milan Michalek, David Legwand and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Senators. Andrew Hammond, making his fifth straight start, faced 35 shots and improved to 12-0-1 in his first 13 NHL starts.

Ottawa native Ryan Spooner led the Bruins with two goals. Carl Soderberg and Torey Krug also scored, and Tuukka Rask faced 32 shots as Boston dropped its third straight.

With the game tied 4-4, Ryan brought the sold-out crowd to its feet when he gave Ottawa the lead at 11:28 of the third.

Turris added an empty-net goal to seal the win.

The Bruins admitted to feeling some pressure knowing how close the Senators have gotten to them.

"It's something that's self-inflicted," Boston forward Milan Lucic said. "We have to step up our game if we want to end up where we want to end up at the end of the year."

Legwand gave Ottawa the lead when he converted on a pass from Erik Condra.

The Bruins tied it 3-3 at 11:42 with a 5-on-3 power-play goal, Spooner's second tally of the game.

Spooner ended Hammond's streak of consecutive games having allowed two goals or fewer.

"Obviously, I wasn't happy when the (third) goal went in," Hammond said. "I said it (Thursday) morning, getting the win was a lot more important to me than the streak. It was a weird game, a lot happened, and we just showed a lot of character fighting to the end."

The Senators came right back and regained the lead 15 seconds later on Pageau's short-handed goal.

"We didn't take care of our zone, especially in front of the net, and that's where they got their goals and most of their chances," Boston forward Patrice Bergeron said. "Usually when you score four goals it should be enough to win a game."

The Bruins got even again on Krug's goal at 13:17 to make it 4-4 heading into the third period.

Turris opened the scoring 19 seconds into the game, and the Bruins made it 1-1 just 40 seconds later when Soderberg beat Hammond with a floater from the blue line.

Boston went ahead at 4:04 when Spooner's shot was deflected, but the Senators got even with 4:57 left in the first as Michalek scored his 200th NHL goal.

This was the final regular-season meeting between the teams.

NOTES: D Jared Cowen and C Colin Greening were healthy scratches for the Senators. C Zack Smith was sent to Binghamton of the AHL for a conditioning assignment. ... The Bruins were without David Krejci (knee) and Brett Connolly (broken finger). RW Brian Ferlin was a healthy scratch.

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