Spezza shows some promise

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

His 46th goal of the season came on a typical Dany Heatley shot, a one-timer by the Senators winger from the bottom of the right-wing circle, on a pass from Jason Spezza.

It wasn't a typical setup, though.

Spezza twice wound up with loose pucks and it was his work on the backcheck just outside the Boston blue line that resulted in the possession that led to the goal.

Spezza caused a turnover in the area where he has been lambasted for making them. After the Senators lost possession in the Boston zone, Spezza then was the beneficiary of a wayward pass off the skate of B's centre Marc Savard, again coming up with the loose puck and spotting Heatley in his customary spot.

That's a positive sign for Spezza's game, especially at this time of year, when what you do to get pucks back is as important as what you do once you've got 'em.

That won't deter his detractors, however, who don't look at the small plays, only the turnovers that go the other way.

In his quest for 50 goals, here's how Heatley has fared this season against the teams remaining on the Senators schedule:

Canadiens (two goals this year; nine for his career).

Islanders (two goals this year; 10 for his career).

Devils (one goal this year; six for his career).

Penguins (three goals this year; nine for his career).

Bruins (five goals this year; 12 for his career).

HEAR AND THERE: The only concrete evidence Senators fans got of D Wade Redden last night was his poster. Redden was a late scratch with what the team said was a lower-body injury. So much for that new policy of more disclosure on injuries, huh? ... This was one of those nights you'd like to be in front of a wall of televisions. Of the 12 games that were on the docket last night, I would have said only two of them had reduced significance on the playoff races, including the Sens-B's. The other one was the Blue Jackets-Blues in the Mid-America Mediocre Matchup of the night ... Then there was the 67's game, too. Thank you, Crackberry and Don Brennan ... Just figured it out: Redden had missed 17 games this year going into last night's game and the club's record without him is 6-10-1. It was 39-13-7 with him in the lineup. Draw your own conclusions.

THE BUZZ: B's captain Zdeno Chara played despite coming close to being a scratch because of the flu last night and just as well he did. He picked up his second goal of the year against his old team, giving the B's a 3-2 lead in the second ... Senators C Mike Fisher took a hit in the neutral zone in the first period, took a number and then got payback seconds later, leveling Boston W Petr Tenkrat along the boards, which is something you have to like ... Senators F/D Christoph Schubert is developing into quite a playmaker. He made a great pass to Spezza in the second only to see Spezza robbed by B's G Joey MacDonald. Spezza was starting the goal celebration on that one.

REVELATIONS: This just in: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, who also owns the St. Michael's Majors and Mississagua IceDogs of the OHL, could be selling the 'Dogs to interests in Michigan or moving them to Newmarket or Niagara Falls ... Heatley's first-period goal was also his 200th point as a Senator ... D Lawrence Nycholat played in his first game as a Senator with Redden out and did okay through two periods, including a nice bump on Boston's Phil Kessel in the second to keep him from shooting in the slot.

SPECULATIONS: They had a skate with no pucks on Tuesday and were also forced to sit in the dressing room and watch a rerun of Sunday's 5-0 loss to the Penguins. It had the desired effect. Well, it did for the first 54 seconds of the game, anyway, then Heatley scored.

JUST WONDERING: Is it just me or could Savard maybe wind up with the quietest 100-point season in recent memory (he had 92 going into last night)? The guy is one of the best passers in the league ... Senators F Patrick Eaves left the game in the second period after apparently getting hit with the puck in the, well, we'll call that the "middle-body injury."


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