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Spezza leads Sens past Flames

by Brian Compton
Jason Spezza continues to roll, and so do the Ottawa Senators.

Spezza notched the game-winner and added an assist and Brian Elliott made 27 saves as the Sens skated away with a 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Place on Tuesday night.

Since returning from a 20-game absence with a knee injury, Spezza has eight goals and two assists in an eight-game span.

"I'm just trying to get myself around the net and capitalizing on my chances," Spezza said. "The team is playing real well and individuals do well when the team is playing well."

Spezza's tally came late in the second period and Elliott made two huge saves as Calgary pressed for the tying goal in the final seconds of regulation. Elliott bounced back after being pulled on Saturday. Alex Kovalev and Jarkko Ruutu also scored for Ottawa.

"It didn't take us long to get back out on the ice and prove that we're the team that we are. We've just got to keep doing this on every night and not have off nights," Elliott said.

The Flames (29-22-9) got a goal and an assist each from newcomers Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman, while Jarome Iginla had two assists. Mikka Kiprusoff made 28 saves in the loss.

"I'm not happy at all," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "That game was there for us tonight to get some points and we just didn't play a good enough game here after the first 28 minutes to expect to win. It wasn't good enough."

The teams exchanged goals just 19 seconds apart late in the first. Hagman gave Calgary a 1-0 lead with his 21st goal of the season before Kovalev quickly tied it via the power play.

Stajan put Calgary back in front when he made a nifty move around the defense before firing a wrister past Elliott at 3:18 of the second for his 18th goal of the season. But Ruutu tied it at 9:36 before Spezza had an empty net to shoot at as Jonathan Cheechoo's pass deflected off the stick of Adam Pardy and right to the Spezza, who buried his 13th goal of the season at 16:37.

"We worked hard on the forecheck and that caused them to make mistakes," Spezza said. "Cheech made a good pass and whether that went off his stick or not, I've probably got an open net so Cheech made a good play."

Material from wire services was used in this report.

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