x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Senators take control thanks to Spezza

Jason Spezza scored the second hat-trick of his career to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

The Ottawa Senators' Jason Spezza celebrates his second goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Ottawa Senators' Jason Spezza celebrates his second goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jason Spezza scored the second hat-trick of his career to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Spezza scored all three goals in the second period, and he said: "It's nice to get a few to contribute to the win, but in the end we played a great team game and did a real good job. "I feel like I can get better and better, and I feel like I've been playing better and better," the Senators' centre added after he increased his goal total for the season to 11.

Dany Heatley assisted on two goals to help the Senators win for the fourth time in five games. "We're starting to gel as a line again," said Spezza, who played with Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson. "Things are starting to come together, and I'm getting the puck a lot more. We're starting to feel better about our game." Spezza scored an unassisted goal four minutes into the second period, before doubling Ottawa's lead five minutes later following good work from Heatley and Alfredsson.

Jordan Staal's power play goal at 16:17 of the period pulled Pittsburgh to 2-1 before Spezza struck again with 39 seconds left in the second. Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin narrowed the margin to one goal again 9:12 into the third period, but Ottawa held on. Malkin, the NHL scoring leader, Staal and Sidney Crosby all had assists for Pittsburgh. Malkin now has 43 points (11 goals and 32 assists) with Crosby second in scoring with 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists).

* Reuters