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Mike Hoffman’s power-play winner lifts Senators over Bruins

Ottawa Senators' Mark Stone (61) celebrates a goal scored by teammate Mike Hoffman against the Boston Bruins during third period NHL hockey action in Ottawa, on March 6, 2017.

Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Mike Hoffman had the power-play winner early in the third period as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Monday night in a potential playoff preview.

Derick Brassard, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Alex Burrows also scored as the Senators (36-22-6) extended their winning streak to three games. Craig Anderson made 25 saves.

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins (34-25-6) as Tuukka Rask made 25 saves.

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Ottawa now has a four-point lead on the Bruins in the Atlantic Division.

With just six remaining home games, the Senators gave the 17,046 at Canadian Tire Centre something to remember in what could be a preview of a first round playoff match-up should the standings remain as they are.

Ottawa took a 3-1 lead early in the third as Hoffman scored his 20th on the power play. It was Ottawa's first goal with the man advantage in three games.

The lead was short lived as less than two minutes later the Bruins scored on the power play as Marchand picked up a David Pastrnak rebound to score his 30th, giving him back-to-back 30-goal seasons.

There were no goals in the second, but the Senators clearly held the edge outshooting the Bruins 16-5.

Ottawa had a number of chances as the Bruins turned the puck over several times, but Rask was solid and got a little help when Dion Phaneuf rang a shot off the post.

The Senators got a perfect start as they held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

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Trailing 2-0, the Bruins cut the lead in half as Bergeron took a pass from Torey Krug in the slot and quickly turned and beat Anderson with a wrist shot in the final minutes of the period.

Brassard opened the scoring at 1:21 as he managed to beat Rask with a turnaround shot through traffic and Ottawa took a 2-0 lead just three minutes into the game as Pageau redirected Phaneuf's point shot.

The Senators now hold a 2-0 series lead as the two teams meet again March 21 and April 6.

Notes: Ottawa D Fredrik Claesson, D Jyrki Jokipakka and C Christopher DiDomenico were a healthy scratch. The Senators remain without Bobby Ryan and Chris Neil, who both have broken fingers. The Bruins RW Jimmy Hayes, D John-Michael Liles, D Joe Morrow and LW Matt Meleskey were a healthy scratch. Adam McQuaid was back in the lineup Monday. The Bruins defenceman needed over 20 stitches Saturday after taking a skate blade to the neck.

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