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Spezza getting back into form

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
They're back. The Senators top line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza are once again providing a pile of offence during the current five-game winning streak.

Jason Spezza is on a five-game point streak with three goals and two assists, and with his success, there have been positive results for his linemates, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley. In the same five-game period, Spezza's wingers have combined for a total of seven goals and 10 assists. Alfredsson has recorded one goal and four assists, and Heatley has scored three goals and assisted on four.

While the players were performing their off-ice workout this morning in Ocala, Fla., head coach Bryan Murray reflected on his top centreman's play of late.

"They're (first line) playing better," Murray said. "Certainly it has to do with everybody, but Jason is really back here. It looks like he's trying to do more energy-wise. I think he's skating back to a better level again."

In the five previous games before his current streak, Spezza had only three assists, which were all recorded in the Senators' 7-2 win over Pittsburgh on Feb. 2. Alfredsson, meanwhile, had three points (two goals, one assist) and Heatley two (one goal, one assist) in the same game. The trio was then kept off the scoresheet the next four games.

But Murray says Spezza is putting the finishing touches back into his game.

"There were several times last night (against Tampa Bay) the puck was turned over and he (Spezza) reached in, and grabbed it, and took a few strides to create a little space -- and then things happen."

Spezza has made things happen in his 47 games this season. The three-year veteran has scored 16 goals and 47 assists for 63 points. More importantly, he's converted those points at crucial times in games, recording four game-winning goals, six power-play goals and 20 power-play assists.

"That's a big part of what your centreman has to do for the line. We know Alfie is going to play a high energy all the time, and Dany's a big shooter," added Murray.

"Jason had a fall off for a while there, partly because of the (chest) injury, there's no question. But I see him back now, kind of fresh and ready to go."

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