Bruins Petr Kalus (left) celebrates his goal with Dennis Wideman. (CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)
Chara's goal against his former team proved to be the winner as the Boston Bruins edged Ottawa 3-2 to snap a five-game losing streak. Patrice Bergeron and Petr Kalus also scored for Boston (35-35-6) while Joey MacDonald stopped 32 shots for his third win of the year.
Dany Heatley and Mike Fisher replied for Ottawa (45-24-8). Ray Emery faced 17 shots.
Ottawa opened the scoring in the first minute as Heatley scored his 46th goal of the season for his 200th career point as a Senator.
The Bruins tied the game at 7:40 as Bergeron made the most of a two-man advantage with Boston's first goal in four road games.
Fisher put Ottawa back ahead at 1:49 of the second with a power-play goal, his 20th of the season.
But Boston regained the lead, scoring two goals 47 seconds apart.
Kalus scored his first of the season as he took advantage of an Ottawa turnover before Chara beat Emery with a point shot to give Boston a 3-2 lead.
The 19,786 fans on hand at Scotiabank Place were often disappointed by their team's effort and voiced their displeasure with a chorus of boos.
The Senators lost right-winger Patrick Eaves late in the second after it appeared he took a shot off the ankle.
Lawrence Nycholat, a defenceman acquired at the trade deadline, played his first game as a Senator as Wade Redden had the night off with what Ottawa described as a lower body injury.
The win gives Boston a 4-3 lead in the season series, with the two teams set to meet for the last time April 7.
Notes: LW Oleg Saprykin and RW Brian McGrattan were healthy scratches for Ottawa . . . The Bruins were without LW P.J. Axelsson (wrist, out for season) and RW Glen Murray (groin, indefinite) while D Jason York, D Bobby Allen and RW Chuck Kobasew were healthy scratches.