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Ottawa just one point out of second in East

4/1/2004

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- After watching a two-goal lead turn into a one-goal deficit against Florida on Wednesday, the Ottawa Senators decided to get to work.

Marian Hossa tied the score late in the second period and Martin Havlat scored the game-winner with 6:26 left in the third to help the Senators come away with an important 5-4 victory.

"We showed our character to come back," said Hossa, who had a
goal and an assist. "That's what we need. It's going to give us
confidence going into the playoffs."

Wade Redden, Antoine Vermette and Chris Phillips also scored for
the Senators, who improved to 15-1-2-1 against the Southeast
Division this season.

The victory moved the Senators past Toronto and away from Philadelphia
into fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Ottawa has
100 points, Toronto 99 and Philadelphia 98. The Senators and Maple Leafs have two games remaining, while the Flyers have three.

The Senators also moved to within one point of Boston in the Northeast Division, but the Bruins have a game in hand.

"We needed the two points," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson
said. "We're trying to get home-ice advantage. We knew we had a
game in hand on Toronto. We want to finish strong. It's going
pretty well right now."

Olli Jokinen, Christian Berglund, Mike Van Ryn and Juraj Kolnik
scored for the Panthers.

Florida goalie Roberto Luongo stopped 30 of 35 shots, setting an
NHL single-season record for most shots faced. Luongo's 2,443 shots
broke the mark of 2,438 set by Toronto s Felix Potvin in 1996-97.

Martin Prusek, making his second consecutive start in goal for
Ottawa in place of injured Patrick Lalime, was pulled in the
second period after allowing three goals on 18 shots.

Prusek was replaced after allowing Berglund to beat him with a
wrist shot from the top of the circle and Van Ryn to beat him with
a wrist shot between the legs as Florida erased a 3-1 deficit to
tie the score.

"I just wanted to change things," Ottawa coach Jacques Martin
said of the goalie switch. "I just felt I needed to change the
momentum."

Kolnik gave Florida a 4-3 lead at 12:49 of the second when he
put a wrist shot high over Ray Emery on a two-on-one.

Hossa then tied the score at 4 on a short-handed goal at 15:31 of
the second when he tipped home Vermette's pass into the open net.

Havlat scored the game-winner when Mike Fisher won a faceoff in the Florida zone and Havlat one-timed it past Luongo.

Ottawa jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period, thanks to
Phillips' goal with 0.2 seconds left. Phillips set a career high
with his seventh goal of the season, which was his third in as many games,
when he tipped home Hossa's pass across the net.

The four-on-four goal came 23 seconds after Jokinen had pulled
Florida within 2-1 by backhanding a rebound past Prusek.

"It must have been a fun game to watch," said Florida center
Matt Cullen, who had two assists. "It was fun to play, [although]
obviously we're not happy with the result. I think we did some good
things as far as battling back. There's still some things we need
to work on."

Game notes
With the Panthers missing D Andreas Lilja (back), C
Stephen Weiss (leg), LW Darcy Hordichuk (hand) and RW Nathan Horton
(shoulder) because of injuries, the team recalled RW Kamil Piros
from San Antonio. ... Ottawa D Anton Volchenkov returned after
missing 52 games because of a shoulder injury. ... The Senators'
only regulation loss against the Southeast Division this season was
a 3-2 loss to Florida on Oct. 30 at Ottawa. ... Luongo previously
had set the single-season record for most saves during a 3-2 loss
at Carolina on March 25. ... Ottawa improved to 3-1-1 on its
season-long six-game road trip with one game left, Friday at
Philadelphia.