(Reuters) - The Boston Bruins ended a three-game losing run with a 5-3 home victory over the in-form Ottawa Senators in a battle of divisional rivals on Tuesday.
The two Northeast Division teams had been heading in opposite directions prior to the contest but the last-placed Bruins (4-7-0) used a third-period surge to derail a Senators team that had won their last six games.
Boston's Johnny Boychuk scored the decisive goal to break a 3-3 tie at 6:41 in the third and Daniel Paille added the final score 37 seconds later to give the Stanley Cup champions a much-needed triumph.
Tonight was a start, and it has to carry over to next game, Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters.
I guess if we keep playing the way we did tonight and win hockey games, that confidence comes back.
Ottawa (7-6-0), who had enjoyed their longest winning streak in two seasons, scored first-period goals via Nick Foligno, who also had two assists, and Stephane Da Costa to grab a 2-1 advantage.
Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly responded with Bruins' goals in the second to put Boston 3-2 ahead before Senators defenseman Jared Cowen tied the score at 5:04 in the third.
Goaltender Craig Anderson made 36 saves in the loss while Tim Thomas stopped 23 shots for Boston.
The Senators had made a recent habit of prevailing in close games, with their last five wins coming in one-goal affairs, but their fortune ran thin against the Bruins.
A cat's got nine lives, so maybe we used up a few of those in these couple of games, Anderson said.
We're learning still. When you're not feeling great and you get the game 3-3, you've got to find a way to shut the other team down and just get a point (for an overtime loss).
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)