Observations: Bruins 3, Senators 1

The Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 Thursday behind a brilliant performance from Anton Khudobin, who made 44 saves in his first NHL game with Boston. Milan Lucic, Benoit Pouliot and Greg Zanon all scored as the Bruins prevented the Senators from locking up the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference (and a first-round matchup with Boston).

Khudobin lets team know he’s ready if needed: With the status of Tuukka Rask (groin) still uncertain as the Bruins prepare for their final regular-season game of the season Saturday against Buffalo, the Bruins are probably feeling a bit more confident about the possibility of Anton Khudobin serving as the backup to Tim Thomas. Khudobin made 44 saves and was simply dominant in his first NHL game with the Bruins.

Krejci and Lucic getting hot at right time: With a goal Thursday Milan Lucic has six points in his past five games and linemate David Krejci has seven during that span. This is a good sign for the Bruins as they will need both players to be consistent for a successful playoff run. Krejci was huge in the 2011 Stanley Cup run but Lucic was consistently inconsistent. That will need to be change for the Bruins to have a chance at repeating.

Pouliot is another former Hab who has found his game as a Bruin: Just as Montreal castaway Michael Ryder did during his time in Boston -- specifically in his first season with the Bruins when he scored 27 goals and had 53 points -- Benoit Pouliot is finally realizing his potential and enjoying the success many thought he’d have when he was drafted fourth overall in 2005. While Pouliot won’t finish with 27 lamplighters, he has 16 after scoring Thursday for the second straight game. Pouliot is proving to be another successful reclamation project from Montreal.

McQuaid leaves game in second period and does not return: In his first game back since last week's injury to his eye (which was swollen shut for three days), Adam McQuaid suffered an undisclosed injury and did not return in the third period.

Zanon scores first goal as a Bruin: In his 16th game in a Bruins uniform, defenseman Greg Zanon scored his first goal with the Black and Gold. But while Zanon’s lamplighter at 3:51 of the second period gave a Bruins 2-0 lead at the time, his real contributions continued to be his hustle and physical play. Zanon has been a welcome addition to this Bruins lineup and he will help in the absence of Johnny Boychuk should he miss an extended period of time.

Krug gets first NHL point: Rookie Torey Krug got his first NHL point in his second NHL game. Krug assisted on Milan Lucic’s goal at 15:27 of the third period. The Michigan State product looked a lot more comfortable and less hesitant Thursday.

Rest for Bergeron, Chara; Boychuk out with mild knee sprain: Bruins head coach Claude Julien continued to rest his stars Thursday. Not only did Thomas stay back in Boston, captain Zdeno Chara and alternate captain Patrice Bergeron stayed home as well. Johnny Boychuk also missed the game with a mild knee sprain suffered Tuesday against Pittsburgh. That meant an unusual lineup for the Bruins Thursday and this is how it looked to start the game:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin

Brad Marchand-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley

Benoit Pouliot-Brian Rolston-Jordan Caron

Lane MacDermid-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Andrew Ference-Dennis Seidenberg

Greg Zanon-Joe Corvo

Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Anton Khudobin

Marty Turco