The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 5, 2010; 10:21 PM
OTTAWA -- Blake Wheeler had two goals and an assist and Tim Thomas extended his winning streak against Ottawa to 11 games and the Boston Bruins scored four times in the first en route to a 4-1 win over the Senators on Tuesday night.
Wheeler earned points on Boston's first three goals and David Krejci and Mark Recchi both had a goal and an assist as the Bruins jumped out to a 4-0 lead 13:45 in to chase Brian Elliott, who allowed all four goals.
Thomas stopped 28 shots as he improved to 16-5-2 overall against the Senators, including each of Boston's four wins in as many meetings this season.
Filip Kuba scored in the second period for Ottawa, which had won four of five.
Bruins coach Claude Julien called out his team following a 3-2 loss to the Rangers in New York one night earlier.
"There were times in the past that they had their dressing room under control," Julien said following Monday night's game. "Right now, you have to coach, you have to be a cheerleader, you've got to wake them up. You've got to do too many things that a coach shouldn't have to do at this level."
Julien's message got through.
Wheeler got credit for opening the scoring 1:46 in when Andrew Ference's backhand from a sharp angle went in off his skate.
Krejci made it 2-0 at 6:05 when he put away the Bruins' sixth shot of their first power play of the game to take an 11-0 lead in shots.
Wheeler, who assisted on Krejci's power-play goal, got his second of the period - his third in two games and 10th of the season - when he deflected Krejci's wrist shot from the right point past Elliott.
Recchi, who also set up Krejci's goal, converted Boston's second power-play opportunity for his ninth goal at 13:45.
Pascal Leclaire replaced Elliott, who stopped 12 of 16 shots. Leclaire, who was replaced by Elliott during Sunday's 7-4 win over Philadelphia, made 19 saves the rest of the way.
Kuba scored his third goal 2:41 into the second. The puck went in off a Senators defenseman's skate after he failed to make contact with his stick and a video review upheld referee Don VanMassenhoven's ruling that goal was good because the puck was "not directed in with a distinct kicking motion".
The Bruins' Andrew Ference left the game after he was checked by Ottawa's Chris Phillips early in the second. He did not return.
The Bruins got relatively good news on the injury front earlier in the day when they learned that leading scorer Patrice Bergeron would only miss two weeks because of a broken thumb.
Bergeron, who did not accompany the team to Ottawa and was initially feared lost for longer, broke the tip of his right thumb in three places Monday night when he was struck by a slap shot by teammate Dennis Wideman.
Miroslav Satan made his Bruins debut playing on a line with Wheeler and Krejci. Satan, who signed as a free agent on Sunday, was on the ice for both of Wheeler's goals and finished plus-two.
Senators defenseman Matt Carkner and Boston captain Zdeno Chara got roughing minors after they exchanged punches with 40.4 seconds left in the first.
Carkner fought in the second with Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton, who drew a pat on the back from Chara after he went to the penalty box to serve his major.
NOTES: Thomas has won 11 in a row against the Senators since a 2-1 shootout loss in Boston on Nov. 4, 2007. ... Chara went to the dressing room with a large tear in the back of his jersey under his nameplate after his exchange with Carkner late in the first. ... The Senators, who are missing Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza, closed out a 3-2 homestand.