Spezza plays it Streit

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Senators centre Jason Spezza won't have Canadiens defenceman Sheldon Souray to turn inside out this season.

Last night, Spezza looked around for another victim to play the nail to his hammer in the highlight reels and found Habs blueliner Mark Streit.

Spezza dangled Streit along the right-wing boards and then fed new Senator Shean Donovan for the winning goal in Ottawa's 2-1 pre-season win at the Bell Centre last night.

Ottawa remains unbeaten in the pre-season (3-0) heading into tomorrow's meeting with the Leafs in Toronto. The Habs fell to 2-3 and face Boston in Halifax today.

Spezza, playing on a line that didn't include usual partner Dany Heatley, also scored the Senators' first goal, breaking in and beating Montreal goaltender Cristobal Huet to the glove side midway through the second period.

"I was just trying to skate well and get into the flow," said Spezza. "You want to use these games to get ready."

"He was outstanding (last night). He was really skating," Senators coach John Paddock said of Spezza. "If he skates like that all year, he'll be special."

Souray, who was a memorable and unfortunate victim on a Spezza overtime winner a couple of years ago, moved to the Oilers as a free agent during the summer.

It didn't seem to matter to Spezza.

Paddock split up Spezza and Heatley last night to give young players like Nick Foligno and Ilya Zubov a chance to play with Heatley.

"You've got to give young players like Zubov, who appears to be a player for the future, a chance to play with the better players. It's only fair," said Paddock.

Spezza played on a line with Donovan and Antoine Vermette.

Paddock had Heatley and Spezza out to kill the final seconds with the Hab net empty.

Martin Gerber started his third straight game for Ottawa as No. 1 goalie Ray Emery stayed behind in Ottawa to practise and get his surgically repaired left wrist in shape.

Gerber gave up a goal to Habs prospect Kyle Chipchura.

Gerber played the first two periods and gave way to Jeff Glass. The rookie, who had a tough year last year, showed he will fight with Brian Elliott to be the starter in Binghamton of the AHL with a strong performance.

Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov had a strong game with a couple of assists and some big hits, most notably on countryman Alexei Kovalev.


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