It wasn't pretty, but then nobody really expected it to be.
That it probably should have been a four or five goal difference didn't seem to matter to the players, who happily held court in the locker room postgame for as long as they were needed, waxing on about how the win was a "full team game" and one they achieved by "playing for each other."
The scoring opened when Nick Foligno netted a flukey goal that went to review but was upheld. The goal negated what had been a great shift by Andrew Ference, but it arguably sparked the Bruins as well. And if the goal didn't, Shawn Thornton certainly did.
The Bruins' enforcer accosted Zenon Konopka after the ensuing faceoff, and the two went toe-to-toe for nearly a minute before being pulled off of each other on the boards. With the Bruins on the ice tapping their sticks during the fight, Thornton went to the box clapping.
"It's not easy, just like the last two guys, (Konopka) is an ex-teammate and ex-linemate," Thornton said. "Kudos to him or stepping up and doing it, too."
When Sergei Gonchar went for hooking just eight seconds later, the Bruins power play went to work.
Although it only registered one goal on seven tries (including two which only lasted the game's final 12 seconds), the Boston power play netted one when the needed it, when Milan Lucic lifted the puck over a downed Craig Anderson to tie things up.
Ottawa took the lead heading into the locker room on the strength of a Stephane Da Costa goal, but it was a first period that belonged to the Bruins, and the second would be no different.
Passes started connecting, shooting lanes started opening and Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly scored goals to give the Bruins - whose cycle and forecheck looked better than it had all season - a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. They'd lose that lead in the third, but a Johnny Boychuk bomb from the right point and Daniel Paille breakaway goal finished things up for Boston, whose win was their first in the last four tries, but did nothing to help them out of the Eastern Conference basement.
"We know what our record is, and we knew that going five games below .500, it would be hard to come back, even in November," Paille said after the game. "We had a lot of chances that we didn't finish, but we stuck with it. We didn't get down on ourselves, and it was nice to see everyone stay positive when (Ottawa tied it in the third)."
Their record could still use some work, but with a few days off before heading to Toronto, there's a chance for the Bruins to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
It's another must-win game at a time of year when there aren't many of them. Whether or not they play like it could mean that there won't be too many more of them for a long while.