Even-up call helps put Sens on top

DON BRENNAN , QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:29 PM ET

Along with the NHL’s only four-goal game this season from Alex “The Most Interesting Man In The World” Kovalev, the Senators have now produced the league’s lone 3-on-3 tally to date.

Two curious calls Saturday afternoon led to the latter.

Jason Spezza adamantly believed he deserved a chance to extend Ottawa’s winning streak to a franchise record nine games exactly 1:16 before Mike Fisher’s OT heroics did.

You thought a penalty shot should have been called on Hal Gill when the Habs defenceman hauled down Spezza after the latter had tiptoed around Marc-Andre Bergeron to get in alone? As you could probably tell by his reaction, so did Spezza, who emphatically shared his feelings with referee Tim Peel.

You figured his outburst after Gill’s tripping penalty may have led to Peel’s lame interference tag on Spezza less than a minute later?

So did No. 19.

“Maybe, yeah, that’s one of those calls that could get overlooked,” said Spezza. “Sometimes, if you open your mouth too much, you get burned a little bit.

“I have a good relationship with Timmy Peel. I’m sure it’s not going to be anything that carries over.”

Spezza will take the opportunity to end things in a 1-on-1 showdown with a goalie over a 4-on-3 power play any day. Given officials’ tendency this season to more readily call penalty shots, he would have had that chance.

“I’ve seen a lot of chintzy penalty shot calls this year,” said Spezza, “(and) I think I was in pretty clear there (when Gill) took my legs out pretty good.

“Whatever. We won. Fishy scored. That’s all that matters. If we would have lost, it would have been a different story. Probably would have been upset about it.”

Instead, Spezza assisted on this season’s first 3-on-3 goal.

Just by being in the box.

Starts and stops

It was Fisher’s third OT goal of the year, tying him with Derek Roy and Shane Doan for the league lead. Yeah, but neither of them are engaged to Carrie Underwood ... Kovalev’s thing. He had seven points (5G-2A) in two Saturday afternoon January games. TMIMITW drew blanks as Ottawa scored only two goals in its two previous matinees, both losses ... Nothing like a visit from the Habs on Hockey Day in Canada to turn the Queensway into a parking lot on a Saturday. Most were going to The Bank as part of a season-high crowd (20,500) and the Sens’ seventh sellout of the season ... Our HDIC treat? Bob Cole is calling the game in the booth over our shoulder.

Between periods

Watch for Ryan Shannon to be elevated into injured Nick Foligno’s spot alongside Fisher and Kovalev, in a move that should show evidence of the team’s exceptional depth. Also expect Jesse Winchester to step from the injured list into the vacated roster spot ... Had to be some breath-holding when Ryan O’Byrne crushed Milan Michalek with a first-period hit in front of the Senators bench that had Spezza offering a rather sheepish objection. Michalek, who is only recently over concussion problems, survived the jolt ... Spezza was the victim of the game’s third best hit — after O’Byrne-Michalek, Anton Volchenkov-Mike Cammalleri — when he was tattooed by Sergei Kostitsyn, of all people ... In attendance was well-known actor Viggo Mortenson, a big Habs fan.


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