Spezza returns to score winner for Senators

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Ottawa Senators streaked to a sixth consecutive win with a 2-1 success over the Boston Bruins as Jason Spezza scored the tiebreaker in the second period on his return from injury in Saturday's Northeast Division clash.

Spezza, who missed 20 games with a torn right knee ligament, turned a pass from Alex Kovalev into the winner as he ripped a shot past netminder Tim Thomas 16:39 into the second period.

"I knew the whole time he was passing across to me," Spezza told reporters, "so I was just trying to get myself in good shooting position."

The Senators' streak has come after five consecutive losses during which they were without Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, who returned from a shoulder injury last week after missing 11 games.

"The guys are playing well," Spezza said. "We had gone through a real tough stretch and kind of got things together a little bit, so I wanted to make sure I played well."

Alfredsson, who bombarded the Bruins with a hat-trick on Monday, gave second-place Ottawa a 1-0 lead with six seconds remaining in the first.

Boston leveled the score on Daniel Paille's tally 8:26 into the second.

Brian Elliott had 32 saves for Ottawa with Boston's Thomas stopping 21 shots.

The loss was the fourth in a row for the Bruins, who have dropped to third in the division on 54 points with the Senators' surge taking them up to second behind the Buffalo Sabres.

The Bruins now trail Ottawa by six points.

"The effort is there, but it doesn't seem like we're having any emotion right now," Paille said. "One thing we're not doing is hitting. I know from the past that this team is all about intimidation and hitting. Right now, we're not really playing that way."

Both teams had second period goals waved off on review.

"Anyone with common sense know when you throw it hard within five feet, you don't have time to react and kick," an unhappy Recchi said. "I'm not a soccer player. I'm trying to get position in front of the net. It hits my foot and goes in the net."

High sticking cost Ottawa's Mike Fisher a goal less than two minutes after Spezza's tiebreaker.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina)