Sens stay hot in Florida Heatley's hat trick sparks Ottawa to its fourth straight victory

BRUCE GARRIOCH, OTTAWA SUN

, Last Updated: 12:50 PM ET

SUNRISE, FLA. -- Dany Heatley did the trick for the Senators last night.

Nothing ever comes easy for this team, but after blowing a two-goal lead last night, Ottawa found a way to storm back for a 6-4 victory over the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.

Heatley led the charge by completing his fifth career hat trick with a minute left and had an assist, while Mike Fisher and Dean McAmmond chipped in markers as well to ruin a two-goal performance by Gary Roberts.

Centre Jason Spezza scored the winner on the power play at 7:48 of the third, beating Ed Belfour with a perfect shot to get the Senators back to the .500 mark (11-11-1) for the first time since Oct. 28.

The much-maligned power play clicked twice for the fifth time in seven games, while goalie Ray Emery made enough saves to get the job done as the Senators chalked up their fourth straight victory. The road trip continues tomorrow in Tampa (A-Channel, 5 p.m.).

"Four in a row is big for us," said Heatley. "We've been working really hard and I think we've got our confidence back. You could feel the vibe in the dressing room going into the third ... we felt like we could win this game."

The Senators did suffer a huge hit on the blue line last night when Anton Volchenkov -- who has been playing some of the best hockey of his career -- left after the first period with what is believed to be a leg injury.

Shortly after Roberts gave the Panthers a 4-3 lead on the power play, Fisher tied it up with his fourth of the season at 6:33 by beating Belfour on the glove side.

"I was upset with the way we gave up the lead," said coach Bryan Murray. "I said to the guys going in the third, we've shown we can do it before and we were able to get it done."

The Senators hadn't been penalized in a stretch of 101:56, but that came crashing to a halt late in the second. Roberts tied it up 3-3 at 19:33 with Andrej Meszaros in the box, only seconds after a 5-on-3 for Florida ended.

Florida rookie Drew Larman couldn't have picked a better time to score his first NHL goal. The callup from Rochester scored at 13:10 to cut Ottawa's lead to 3-2.

With Belfour looking mediocre, McAmmond ended a 15-game drought by firing a shot high on the stick side from the top of the circle at 4:49. It was his first goal since Oct. 21 and gave the Senators 3-1 lead.

Heatley put the Senators on top 2-1 at 11:22 of the first on the power play.

He couldn't have had an easier goal than the one that opened the scoring for Ottawa. Belfour tried to play a puck behind the net but it took a bad bounce right on to Heatley's stick in front. All he had to do was deposit into the open net at 7:53 of the first to tie it 1-1, after Stephen Weiss had opened the scoring for Florida.


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