Dany Heatley scores three goals as Senators defeat Panthers 6-4

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He had three goals and Jason Spezza scored the winner to send the Ottawa Senators to their fourth straight win with a 6-4 victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday night. "Sometimes it's going in, no matter what you do, it goes in for you and sometimes it doesn't," Heatley said. "Tonight was one of those games where it went in."

Heatley's second hat trick of the season lifted the Senators to .500 for the first time since Oct. 28. He added an assist for a season-high four points. His last three-goal game was Oct. 26 at Toronto.

Dean McAmmond and Mike Fisher added goals for the Senators. Ray Emery had 33 saves.

Gary Roberts scored two goals for the Panthers, who also got goals from Stephen Weiss and Drew Larman. It was Larman's first career NHL goal in two games. Ed Belfour stopped 26 shots.

Heatley scored at 19:00 of the third and Spezza's goal came on a power play at 7:48.

Florida had reclaimed the lead at 3:29 of the third period on Robert's second power-play goal when he deflected a shot from Ruslan Salei into the net. Less than three minutes later Fisher redirected a pass from Patrick Eaves past Belfour to tie it 4-4.

"They had battled back to tie it up and get the lead and then we tied it up. It was nice to get the game-winner," Spezza said. "We're back to .500 and we don't want to go below .500 again."

Florida tied it 3-3 near the end of the second period on a power-play goal by Roberts. Ville Peltonen passed from the left circle to Roberts just outside the crease. Roberts redirected the puck in at 19:33.

"I don't get too many pretty ones so I'll take it," Roberts said. "It would have been a lot better if we would have gotten a win."

Larman's goal pulled the Panthers to 3-2. Emery blocked a shot by Steve Montador, but Larman picked up the rebound and pushed it in at 13:10.

"I was at the right place at the right time," Larman said. "I saw the open net and if I missed I would have had nightmares."

Ottawa stretched its lead to 3-1 at 4:49 of the second. McAmmond shot from the left circle and the puck went over Belfour's right shoulder.

The Senators took a 2-1 lead during a power play at 11:22 of the first period. Spezza's shot bounced of Belfour and Heatley shot it in from the right side.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on Weiss's goal at 7:09. After his initial shot was blocked, Weiss fell right of the crease, but was able to reach back and slide in the puck from behind the net.

Just 44 seconds later, the Senators tied it 1-1 on Heatley's first goal. Chris Kelly shot the puck down the ice to the back boards. Belfour moved behind the net to retrieve the puck. Instead, it bounced back out to Heatley and he slapped it into the open net.

Notes: The Panthers sent winger Greg Jacina back to AHL Rochester on Thursday and called up Larman. ... Florida's Mike Van Ryn was a late scratch due to the flu.