Nathan Horton snapped a tie early in the second period as the Northeast Division-champion Boston Bruins skated to a 3-1 triumph over the Ottawa Senators in their final regular-season home game Saturday afternoon.
Daniel Paille and Rich Peverley also scored while All-Star Tim Thomas made 31 saves for the Bruins, who improved to 5-1-1 in their last seven contests and will face the sixth-seeded Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Thomas, who is not expected to play in Sunday's season finale at New Jersey, will finish the campaign with an NHL-record .938 save percentage, eclipsing the former mark of .937 set by Buffalo's Dominik Hasek in 1998-99.
Rookie Bobby Butler tallied and Curtis McElhinney stopped 26 shots for Ottawa, which concluded its disappointing season with just its second loss in five games. Following the defeat, the Senators fired head coach Cory Clouston and two assistants.
After McElhinney stopped Bruins captain Zdeno Chara's blast, Horton grabbed the rebound and backhanded it into the net from the left faceoff circle at 1:08 of the second for a power-play goal and a 2-1 edge. Peverley created breathing room with 5:08 left in the third with his first goal in 12 contests.
Boston took the lead at 12:53 of the first period when Paille scored for the third time during his four-game point streak. Butler drew the Senators even with 93 seconds remaining in the session, beating Thomas for his seventh point in four contests.