BOSTON (AP) Jiri Smejkal scored his first career goal midway through the second period and Jakob Chychrun scored less than a minute later as the Ottawa Senators beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 on Tuesday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Artem Zub added an empty-net goal with 1:48 remaining and Anton Forsberg had 34 saves for the Senators, who avoided a three-game season series sweep by Boston and helped spoil the Bruins’ hopes of clinching the Atlantic Division title.

“We didn’t have our best game,” Boston captain Brad Marchand said. “We played in the third, didn’t play the first two periods. That’s too late to start playing. Teams are too good. Doesn’t matter who it is. You can’t play one period.”

The Bruins entered the day leading second-place Florida by one point, but the Panthers beat Toronto 5-2 to pass the Bruins for the top spot in the Division. Boston squandered back-to-back chances to clinch the division by getting shut out at Washington 2-0 on Monday, then a losing at home to the Senators.

“We didn’t play very good the last two games. But other than that, we’ve been playing well. We’ve been playing within the structure and giving ourselves an opportunity to win every night,” Marchand said. “If we do that in the playoffs, we’ll be tough to play against.”

The Bruins never really recovered after being outshot 11-3 in the opening period. Boston played better in the second, but it wasn't until the third period that the Bruins started to seriously pressure the Senators, outshooting Ottawa 23-2 over the final 20 minutes. And then, they couldn't beat Forsberg.

“To finish on a positive note after the year we had, it’s definitely nice. Definitely feel a little bit better about yourself going into the summer. But I know we’re not winning that game if it’s not for Forsey and the big saves that he made in the third period,” Ottawa forward Brady Tkachuk said. “He was awesome. He stood on his head and made that big save at the right time.”

The loss sets up a meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round of the playoffs.

“Results-wise, not what we wanted, obviously. Some things to clean up,” said Linus Ullmark, who finished with 17 saves for the Bruins. “It’s a good thing we have a couple of days now before the fun starts."

Pavel Zacha scored for Boston, which won the President's Trophy last season with the league's best record but was knocked out in the opening round of the playoffs.

Smejkal, playing in his 20th career game, got the first goal of the game when he slipped the puck under Ullmark’s pads as he was hugging the near post 10:03 into the second period. Officials needed a few minutes to review the video before confirming the puck continued across the goal line after hitting Ullmark’s pads.

“He was fired up. It was a big goal to kind of get the game going and it was a great shot, too,” Tkachuk said. “I’m happy for him. The whole group is happy for him.”

The next goal required no replay. Tkachuk started a rush for the Senators and carried the puck into Boston’s zone before slipping it to Drake Batherson, who crossed it over to Chychrun at the left circle for a wrist shot past Ullmark 51 seconds later.

The Bruins didn’t score unitl Zacha got a power-play goal with 7:16 remaining in the third.

Boston got another puck across the line with 6:31 left but it was after a whistle when Forsberg and the Bruins' Trent Frederic exchanged shots during a scrum in front of the net. Forsberg steered away the rest of Boston's chances, stretching out his left pad to stop a point-blank opportunity by Charlie McAvoy with about five minutes remaining.

Zub intercepted a pass by David Pastrnak and scored into an empty net with 1:48 remaining.

Tuesday was the final regular season game for Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards, who announced he is retiring at the end of the playoffs after a 19-year run with the team. The Bruins honored Edwards and presented him with a commemorative stick during a brief pregame ceremony.


Senators: the offseason.

Bruins: the playoffs.



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