Spezza's OT goal lifts Sens past Lightning
Jason Spezza's first goal of the season came at a great time for the Ottawa Senators.
Spezza scored the winner on a power play at 4:17 of overtime as the Senators defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Thursday.
Spezza, a 30-goal scorer in each of the past three seasons, had been held goalless through his first 10 games this season before firing a slapshot past Antero Niittymaki with Lightning defenceman Mattias Ohlund in the penalty box for holding.
"I felt pretty good about my game going into tonight and I just wasn't getting many bounces," said Spezza. "It's nice to get one, though, to get the monkey off a little bit."
Spezza added a pair of assists in his return after missing two games with an upper-body injury.
Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher also scored for the Senators assisted by Spezza (7-4-2), who ended a two-game losing streak. Pascal Leclaire made 18 saves to earn the victory.
"He's (Spezza) a big part of our team," said Leclaire. "He's a presence. When he has the puck he can do so many things."
Alex Tanguay and Steven Stamkos each scored power-play goals for the Lightning (5-5-4), who fell to 1-1-1 on their four-game road trip. Niittymaki stopped 26 shots in defeat.
After three meetings between the teams in the last three weeks, the intensity is clearly growing with every game. Scuffles occurred after the whistle, and the second period featured a pair of fights.
The teams exchanged goals in a calm first period. The Lightning opened the scoring at 3:03.
Leclaire thought he had put a glove on the puck, but Jeff Halpern poked it under the Ottawa netminder and Tanguay poked it into the net.
Alfredsson evened the score less than two minutes later, converting a rebound on a shot from Spezza.
Things intensified in the second, but not before the Senators took a 2-1 lead on a power play at the 12-minute mark.
Spezza made a perfect cross-ice pass to Alex Kovalev, who then found Fisher all alone at the side of the net.
The Senators appeared to score the winner with 26.8 seconds remaining in regulation, but this time the goal was called back on a high stick.