You could Frey an egg on red-hot Heater ...

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

The lyrics from Eagles great Glenn Frey could have referred to the situation the Senators find themselves as a whole.

Instead, they signified the ray of hope that always exists in the home team's dressing room.

"The Heat Is On."

Sure is.

Dany Heatley cued the Music Man to play his song twice in the second period last night, scoring a pair of goals that led the Senators out of darkness and to their second win in a row.

His third, into a empty net, gave him four the last two games and 35 on the season. Not bad for a guy who's missed a dozen games with a shoulder injury.

Heatley was also "on" in the morning when he was asked by TSN to tape a birthday greeting to Gordie Howe, who turns 80 this month.

As predicted, Heatley nailed it on the first take.

"Told you I would," he joked later. "I had a good feeling in the morning."

Also "on" was Jason Spezza, who scored Ottawa's other goal last night. That wasn't his neatest trick, however. Late in the third, Spezza fell near the Ottawa blue line. With his back to the shooter, he flailed, waving his stick to knock down a slapshot in midair. Lying on his stomach he swirled to clear the puck out of danger.

It was strokes of genius, or plain dumb luck.

"Got my stick in the lane," Spezza snickered. "That's what they teach you as a kid."

Eleven games from the playoffs and desperately requiring the completion of this turnaround, the Senators need Heatley and Spezza to continuing waving hot sticks.

STARTS AND STOPS: The back spasms that kept Daniel Alfredsson out of games in last week's West Coast swing also kept him off the golf course during the down time in Phoenix. "I wasn't looking forward to this trip too much," Alfredsson said sarcastically yesterday ... Alex Auld stole a page out of Martin Gerber's book when he left his big toe behind to deny Nick Foligno moments after Gerber did the same to Phil Kessel on the game's turning point.

BETWEEN PERIODS: Bryan Murray made light of the struggles of Mike Commodore yesterday, saying that while the big defenceman has brought much of what he was expected to bring to the table, the coach would like to see No. 44 improve his puck skills. "I'm going to loan him my stick," said Murray. "I think the hands go with it." Across the hall a few minutes later, Commodore was in no chuckling mood. "Fourteen games, no points, minus-6 ... I'm a minus player for the first time in a long time," Commodore said of his time to date in Ottawa colours. "Everybody's been struggling, but I definitely haven't played great." Commodore says he's having considerable trouble adjusting to the Senators system, specifically the coverage of oncoming forwards and the principle of backing off when in doubt. "Before, whenever there was doubt, I'd attack," he said. "It seems every time I back off it doesn't work out well. It's kind of a helpless feeling. (Adapting) has been a challenge, to say the least." Murray has asked him about signing an extension, but Commodore, who is slated to become an UFA for the first time in his career, wants to focus on the task at hand and hold off on such talk until season's end.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: Not saying the first period was blase, but at one point a deep-voiced man's bellowing of "Go Sens Go" sounded a lot like the guy (a distant relative of Cheapseats) who enlivens The Brier with a "Northern Ontarioooooo" roar .... P.A. announcer Stuntman Stu was at his usual post a mere 25 hours after wife Connie gave birth to their second child. Daughter Isabella is an instant sports fan, proud pop proclaimed. "She was born at 6:29 p.m.," said Stuntman. "Just in time for SportsCentre. I was able to go from the operating room right to the TV."

CREASE CROSSINGS: The sun was not shining in Ray Emery's world yesterday. He barely flinched at shots during a morning skate he was too quick to leave, especially for a guy who would be serving as his team's backup goalie that night. He didn't utter a word to one media member who said hello to him, and this particular greeting came from a scribe who often defends or deflects some of the heat from him. He was bashed on radio programs all day, which was amusing, really, given the more pressing issues facing the struggling team for which he plays. Which brings us to the saddest truth of the matter -- if this Senators' season ends in wthe messy wreck it appears targeted to become, the majority of the blame will no doubt be placed on the shoulders of an immature goalie who couldn't deal with his fall from grace. Emery will be the sacrificial lamb, as many other culprits will get a pass they do not deserve. Really, though, if this team's slide has so much to do with Emery showing up late for practice and admitting to motivational problems, it wasn't of championship calibre to begin with.


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