GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ Jason Spezza and the Ottawa Senators are back in
Spezza scored twice and added an assist, and Daniel Alfredsson had a goal
and an assist to help the Senators beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1 Thursday night.
Ottawa's fourth win in five games lifted the Senators past idle Toronto for
the Northeast Division lead and pulled them even with Philadelphia atop the
Eastern Conference with 66 points.
``It's healthy. We're pushing each other,'' Alfredsson said. ``We've got a
great rivalry, a great race in our own division.''
Josh Langfeld added a goal and Brian Smolinski had a pair of assists for the
Senators, who raised their road record to 12-6-3-1.
Shane Doan scored his 19th goal for the Coyotes, who lost their second
straight and fell to 2-5-1-1 since moving into new Glendale Arena on Dec. 27.
Doan pulled the Coyotes to 2-1 on a power play 26 seconds into the third
period, beating goaltender Martin Prusek between the pads from the high slot.
But Spezza tipped Smolinski's pass under goalie Brian Boucher at the top of
the crease two minutes later to put Ottawa back in front by two goals.
``They scored on the power play, but we didn't panic,'' Marian Hossa said.
``We played the same game, and that's what you have to do.''
Phoenix coach Bobby Francis pulled Boucher for an extra attacker with 2:38
left, but the Coyotes managed just one shot before Alfredsson scored into the
empty net with 58.2 seconds remaining.
``They responded the way you are supposed to after a team scores,'' Doan
said. ``We needed to respond after that and we didn't.''
The Senators opened a 1-0 lead at 12:00 of the first period. Spezza fired
wide from the right circle, gathered his own rebound off the end boards and
beat Boucher with a sharp wrist shot from the right side of the crease.
Ottawa made it 2-0 at 8:58 of the second when Alfredsson's wrist shot from
just inside the blue line glanced off Langfeld's arm and into the net.
``They suffocate you,'' Boucher said. ``It's extremely boring to watch and
extremely boring to play. They make you do things you don't normally do. You
lose your patience.''