Kovalev scored three times, including the 400th of his career, to help the Senators beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Saturday night.
With the score tied 2-2 late in the third, Kovalev took a shot on an Ottawa power play that deflected off the skate of Hurricanes defenseman Jay Harrison and past Manny Legace for No. 400. Kovalev added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
"It's always great to pass that point," said Kovalev, the 82nd player in NHL history to reach 400 goals. "I know it's been 14 or 15 [games since he's scored] or something like that, so I could have done that early but now I can forget about it."
Actually, it was 16 games between goals for the first-year Senator.
Whitney sandwiched his ninth and 10th goals around Spezza's fourth of the campaign in the second period, as the teams headed to the third tied 2-2.
Whitney's first goal came on the power play. His point shot eluded Elliott along the ice and tied it at 1.
Spezza responded with the Senators' first power-play goal in 17 opportunities. He banked a shot off Legace from behind the net with the netminder out of position midway through the period to give the Senators their second one-goal lead.
Whitney was in the right place at the right time for his second of the game as the puck bounced to him in the slot. Elliot stopped Eric Staal's sharp-angle shot, but Whitney beat him on the rebound.
"We need to win some games, so to be that close to it is frustrating," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "We've been playing good for about three weeks to a month now and we've had a lot of these nights. A little understaffed, a little undermanned and we're running some kids a little hard. They're playing, but you've got to get that puck across the line."
Kovalev had the only goal of the first period, redirecting Nick Foligno's pass behind Legace.
Kovalev has 958 points in 1,179 career games. ... The Senators lead the NHL with four short-handed goals at home.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Canadian Tire Centre Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Referees: Paul Devorski Linesmen: David Brisebois, Brian Murphy
Attendance: 16,229 (87.7% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Alex Kovalev (5)
Assists: Nick Foligno, Mike Fisher
Ray Whitney (9)
(Power Play) Assists: Joni Pitkanen, Tuomo Ruutu
Jason Spezza (4)
(Power Play) Assists: Chris Phillips, Daniel Alfredsson
Ray Whitney (10)
Assists: Eric Staal, Jay Harrison
Alex Kovalev (6)
(Power Play) Assists: Erik Karlsson, Filip Kuba