Spezza can tie franchise record Wednesday

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:09 PM ET

BUFFALO — With the sizzling Senators chasing their 10th straight win Wednesday night against the Sabres, Jason Spezza has a streak of his own on the line.

The Senators centre can tie Dany Heatley’s franchise record if he scores a goal in his seventh straight game.

Just because he’s hot doesn’t mean he’s following the superstitious path of some of his teammates.

“I like changing my underwear,” said Spezza, with a smile. “I’m not worried about wearing the same clothes or whatnot.”

That’s good because Senators coach Cory Clouston reminded the players that if they’re going to catch Buffalo for No. 1 spot in the Northeast Division, some things are going to have to change.

“There’s no such thing as a perfect game or perfect team,” said Clouston. “There are always areas to improve on. We’re playing well. You can’t get complacent.

“You can either move forward or backward. We want to continue to move forward. To just say one or two areas, it doesn’t work that way. There are a lot of areas where we’ve got to get better.”

When their franchise-record winning streak started on Jan. 12 against the Rangers, the Senators trailed the Sabres by 13 points — and Buffalo had three games in hand — but with a victory Wednesday, Ottawa can move within three points of top spot. Buffalo still has two games in hand.

“The only way we can catch them is by beating them head-to-head,” said Spezza. “You want to put a little pressure on them going into the Olympic break. If they win, they’ve got a little bit more breathing room.”

The Washington Capitals are running away with the East, but No. 1 in the division means a Top 3 seeding and home ice in the playoffs.

The Senators are 3-0 against the Sabres this season and are 8-1-0 in the last two seasons.

“Anytime we play Buffalo, they are good, intense games,” said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. “But the way they’ve been playing this year, and with the goaltending they’ve been getting (from Ryan Miller), they’re one of the top teams in the conference, for sure. It’s going to be a good challenge. They just bring the best out of us.”

Goalie Brian Elliott can pick up his eighth straight win, to equal a franchise mark he set last season. The Senators are trying not to get caught up in the streak.

“We’ve got a good opportunity to put ourselves in a good situation with the streak we’ve put together,” said winger Chris Neil. “We’re firing on all cylinders right now. We treat (this) like a four-point game.

“The puck is going in for us and that’s half the battle. Every line is contributing. The depth we have has been the key for us being able to do what we’ve done so far.”


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