Mesz-Spezz connection

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

NEW YORK -- It took some patience, skill and vision to get the puck on the stick of Senators defenceman Andrej Meszaros in the third period at Madison Square Garden last night.

It took some luck to get it into the net behind Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

The result was the winner in the Senators' come-from-behind 3-2 win.

For close to the last nine minutes, the Senators protected the one-goal lead after blowing third-period leads in four of their last five games.

Not that it was easy.

Senators goalie Ray Emery made a stop off a point-blank backhander by New York's Martin Straka with 40 seconds to go to save the win.

The Senators then had to endure two broken sticks off faceoffs in the waning seconds, but got the puck out of their zone both times.

"It was the type of third period we needed," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "It's a big, important comeback."

Meszaros' goal came off the kind of play few players in the league can make.

Ottawa's Jason Spezza is one of them.

With the Senators having battled back to tie a game they trailed 2-0 in the first period and the Rangers having the better chances to start the third, Spezza, who had a goal and an assist, carried the puck into the Rangers' zone and curled along the right-wing boards, buying himself some time.

With Meszaros trailing the play, Spezza fed a pass through the legs of a Rangers player and onto Meszaros' stick in the slot. It was a precise pass.

Meszaros was trying to get the puck to Senators winger Dany Heatley, who was breaking in from the left of Lundqvist.

The pass hit the stick of defenceman Marek Malik and went into the top corner "That win shows some character," said Spezza. "We had a flat first period and Bryan was not happy. We weren't happy. But we played a desperate team and outworked them in the last two periods."

People like to talk about Spezza's turnovers.

There's no question he's one of those guys who tries risky plays. But he also has that patience, vision and skill.

"Mez has been looking for a goal and he came right down Broadway," said Spezza. "He tried to pass and it goes in. The hockey gods rewarded him."

"Twenty-one games without a goal is a long streak, but the important thing is to win," said Meszaros. "It was a good play by Jason. I tried to pass the puck to Dany and fortunately for me (Malik) got his stick on it and I got the game winner."

The win, the Senators' 40th of the season, gives them 87 points, one more than the Pittsburgh Penguins -- who beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in a shootout last night -- in the fight for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. It didn't start well for the Senators last night as they trailed 2-0 on a pair of first-period goals by New York's Michael Nylander.

The Senators turned up the tempo in the second period and were rewarded with of goals by Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson.

The Mike Fisher-Peter Schaefer-Alfredsson combination was a new one as Murray shuffled things around.

Forward Patrick Eaves was back in the lineup (Oleg Saprykin was a healthy scratch) and played with Spezza and Heatley. 


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