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Spezza, Senators continue to defy expectations

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators

OTTAWA, CANADA - DECEMBER 14: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his third period goal against the Boston Bruins with team mates Erik Condra #22 and Bobby Butler #16 of the Ottawa Senators during an NHL game at Scotiabank Place on December 14, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

The Ottawa Senators aren’t leading their division, so their (relative) success story is slipping under the radar compared to the Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild.

That’s fair enough, but the team is showing far more life than almost anyone expected this season. New head coach Paul MacLean deserves a lot of credit, but Jason Spezza has been the biggest catalyst. The much-maligned playmaker racked up four points to push his season total to 36 as Ottawa beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4.