OTTAWA (Reuters) - Jason Spezza scored his second career hat-trick to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
Spezza scored all three goals in the second period. Ottawa only had seven shots the entire period.
“It’s nice to get a few to contribute to the win, but in the end we played a great team game and did a real good job,” Spezza told reporters.
“I feel like I can get better and better, and I feel like I’ve been playing better and better,” the Senators’ center added after he increased his goal total for the season to 11.
Dany Heatley assisted on two of the goals to help the Senators win for the fourth time in five games.
“We’re starting to gel as a line again,” said Spezza, who played with Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.
“Things are starting to come together, and I‘m getting the puck a lot more. We’re starting to feel better about our game.”
Spezza scored an unassisted goal 4:01 into the second period and gave Ottawa a 2-0 lead about five minutes later off assists by Heatley and Alfredsson.
Jordan Staal’s power play goal at 16:17 of the period pulled Pittsburgh to 2-1 before Spezza struck again with 39 seconds left in the second.
Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin made it 3-2 on a short-handed goal 9:12 into the third, but Ottawa netminder Alex Auld shut out the Penguins for the remainder of the game.
Auld faced only 19 shots while Pittsburgh’s Dany Sabourin saved 28 of the 31 shots he faced.
Malkin, the NHL scoring leader, Staal and Sidney Crosby all had assists for Pittsburgh.
Malkin now has 43 points (11 goals and 32 assists) with Crosby second in scoring with 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists)
Writing by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury