NHL - Senators halt Washington march

Reuters - Wed, 31 Mar 07:46:00 2010

The red hot Ottawa Senators rallied to complete a stunning 5-4 overtime triumph over the NHL-leading Washington Capitals.

Ottawa Senators' Jason Spezza (C) celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitals' Quintin Laing (bottom) with teammates Mike Fisher (R) and Alex Kovalev during third period NHL hockey action in Washington, - 0

Jason Spezza scored two goals, including the game-tying wrist shot at 5:13 in the third period, and Alexei Kovalev notched the winner at 4:41 in the extra session as the Senators marched forward with a fifth straight triumph.

"The thing I like is that we're resilient," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston told reporters. "They scored on the second shift of the third period and then our power play came up big for us."

Ottawa initially seized control of the contest in the first when Peter Regin and Chris Campoli netted goals to help the visitors build a 3-1 lead.

Alexander Semin scored Washington's first two goals to take his season tally to 37 with Mike Green and Mathieu Perreault also finding the net to give the home team a 4-3 advantage 24 seconds into the third.

The Capitals (49-15-12) have already secured top seeding in the Eastern Conference, but their hopes of claiming a first Presidents' Trophy have been hampered by a run of three straight losses.

The Senators (42-30-5), meanwhile, maintained their secure hold on fifth spot in the East as they look to return to the playoffs after missing out a year ago.

In-form goaltender Brian Elliott entered the game having posted two shutouts in his last four outings but against the potent Capitals' attack he allowed four goals and had 17 saves.

"They don't make it easy on you," Elliott said. "I didn't have one of my best nights, but it shows that we are becoming a pretty good team when your goalie doesn't have his 'A' game - or close to it - but we can still pull out a win."

Two-time reigning Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin led Washington with five shots but stayed stuck on 46 goals for the season, one shy of the NHL lead held by Sidney Crosby.

Ottawa were able to convert three of four power-play opportunities with the clincher coming after Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was called for tripping with less than 33 seconds left in the OT.


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