Spezza scored his second goal of the night on a power play with 4:07 remaining and Ottawa beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-5 Saturday in a rematch of their fight-filled game two days earlier.
"It was definitely satisfying," Spezza said. "We wanted to win one and beat these guys. We have a pretty good rivalry with them now and the win was important to us."
Dany Heatley got his team-leading 36th goal and set up both of Spezza's goals for the Senators, who recovered after blowing a three-goal lead.
"They never give up," Heatley said. "We had the lead on them in Buffalo the other night and they came back and eventually won in the shootout. Tonight, we had the lead on them and they never quit. They kept coming at us."
There were two fights in the second period, and Ottawa's Mike Comrie and Buffalo's Derek Roy were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for their shoving match following Heatley's power-play goal 6:12 into the second.
But this matchup hardly resembled the melee that ensued Thursday night after Chris Neil's blind-side hit on Chris Drury left the Buffalo co-captain with a 20-stitch gash to his forehead and concussion-type symptoms. He is out indefinitely.
Ruff then sent out tough guys Patrick Kaleta, Andrew Peters and Adam Mair to take a faceoff against Heatley, Spezza and Comrie. After the brawl, which led to three players being ejected, Ruff admitted telling his players, "Go out and run 'em."
Ruff, who complained to the referees that Neil used his elbow, was fined $10,000 by the NHL on Saturday for his role in the brawl. NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell met with both teams' coaches and general managers earlier in the day and attended the game.
Neil, who was not penalized for his hit and insisted he caught Drury with a clean shoulder check, was involved in one of the fights Saturday when he squared off with Mair at 8:39 of the second.
About five minutes earlier, Senators enforcer Brian McGrattan, who dressed for the first time in 10 games, fought with Peters.
In the first period, Kaleta threw a big check on McGrattan.
"I thought Pat Kaleta almost put McGrattan into our dressing room," Ruff said. "If that wasn't a big enough message ...
"I thought our guys were fearless. We went out and we were going through people, they were going through people. It turned out to be a tough hockey game at times. It turned out to be an exciting game."
With the score tied at 5 in the third period, Heatley caught Sabres goalie Ryan Miller playing the puck behind the net and put a centering pass to Spezza, who scored into a wide-open net just seven seconds after Teppo Numminen was penalized for interference.
Henrik Tallinder drew Buffalo even at 5 with his second goal of the game 11:35 into the third as the Sabres fought back from a 4-1 deficit.
"I thought both teams were trying to be physical but I am so impressed when we can play two rookies against their top line and be within minutes of at least tying the game," Ruff said. "There's no shame in that room."
Tallinder, who gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead with his third goal of the season 2:27 in, drove a slap shot from the point through traffic over Ray Emery's right shoulder for his first career two-goal game.
"They talked a lot of smack before the game and I thought we were a team that came out and we had a lot of presence, we didn't back down," said Miller, who took over from Martin Biron 8:03 into the second and stopped 19 of 21 shots. "For everything McGrattan was chirping in warmup, he got run over by Pat Kaleta. And I wonder how Petey's fists felt in his face -- it couldn't have been that great. Petey smoked him a few times."
Tomas Vanek, who shot wide on a penalty shot in the second, cut Ottawa's lead to 5-4 at 7:11 when he swatted home a loose puck lying on the goal line behind Emery, who fought with -- and was ejected along with -- both counterpart Biron and Peters in Ottawa's 6-5 shootout loss in Buffalo on Thursday.
Heatley assisted on Spezza's short-handed goal in the first period and scored the first of three Senators goals within 1:51 to chase Biron 8:03 into the second.
Christoph Schubert and Chris Kelly scored goals 50 seconds apart during a 4-on-4. Heatley put Ottawa up 2-1 with his 36th goal 6:12 into the second and Schubert made it 3-1 at 7:13 when he completed a sensational passing play.
|Ottawa's Chris Neil pounds and drops Buffalo's Adam Mair to the ice during their fight. (AP)|
|Ottawa (36-22-4) «||1||3||2||6|
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|02:27||Henrik Tallinder (3), Slap Shot - Assist: Drew Stafford|
|14:44||Short - Jason Spezza (24), Slap Shot - Assist: Dany Heatley|
|06:12||Power Play - Dany Heatley (37), Slap Shot - Assists: Tom Preissing, Wade Redden|
|07:13||Christoph Schubert (5), Slap Shot - Assists: Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Fisher|
|08:03||Chris Kelly (12), Slap Shot - Unassisted.|
|15:33||Power Play - Derek Roy (11), Slap Shot - Assist: Thomas Vanek|
|00:38||Jason Pominville (25), Slap Shot - Assists: Daniel Briere, Jochen Hecht|
|02:34||Daniel Alfredsson (22), Slap Shot - Assists: Peter Schaefer, Mike Fisher|
|07:11||Thomas Vanek (32), Slap Shot - Assists: Brian Campbell, Drew Stafford|
|11:35||Henrik Tallinder (4), Slap Shot - Assist: Daniel Briere|
|15:53||Power Play - Jason Spezza (25), Slap Shot - Assists: Dany Heatley, Wade Redden|
|05:59||Pominville: Hooking - 2 min.|
|12:45||Neil: Slashing - 2 min.|
|15:21||Neil: Roughing - 2 min.|
|16:04||Briere: Hooking - 2 min.|
|15:46||Phillips: Delaying Game - 2 min.|
|19:36||Fisher: Hooking - 2 min.|
|03:44||McGrattan: Fighting - 5 min.|
|03:44||Peters: Fighting - 5 min.|
|05:39||Mancari: Hooking - 2 min.|
|06:12||Comrie: Unsportsmanlike Conduct - 2 min.|
|06:12||Roy: Unsportsmanlike Conduct - 2 min.|
|08:39||Mair: Fighting - 5 min.|
|08:39||Neil: Fighting - 5 min.|
|08:39||Neil: Roughing - 2 min.|
|10:04||Hecht: Holding - 2 min.|
|14:30||Heatley: Hooking - 2 min.|
|15:52||Heatley: Interference - 2 min.|
|04:11||Mair: Slashing - 2 min.|
|15:46||Numminen: Interference - 2 min.|
|19:28||Macarthur: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.|
|19:58||Fisher: Delaying Game - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 20040|
|Referees - Don Koharski, Kevin Pollock|
|Linesmen - Lonnie Cameron, Tony Sericolo|