WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) - Zack Smith figured he was hearing things when he was called to take a shift on the Ottawa Senators' power play late in the third period.
Senators coach Paul MacLean had an inkling, and it paid off.
Smith scored his second goal of the night at 13:45 of the third period as Ottawa beat the Winnipeg Jets 6-4 Tuesday night.
Smith cut in off the boards and sent a shot past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec to break a 4-all tie.
Smith hasn't seen much power-play time this season, and he wasn't expecting any late in a tight Eastern Conference clash that featured four lead changes.
``I had to do a double-take there,' he said, grinning. ``That was only my second or third shift (on the power play) this season. But I guess he wanted to change things up.'
Smith now has six goals on the season.
``I think I actually called (Smith's name) three times before he got over the bench (on the power play),' MacLean said. ``They did a good job. They played really hard, and when that happens you have to reward players.'
Overall, MacLean gave his team's effort a bit of a mixed review.
``I was a little bit happy and unhappy with my team ... but at the end of the night we found a way to win. We showed some resilience and we continued to play to the end of the game, and worked really hard.'
Milan Michalek also scored twice, giving him 14 goals on the season, Jason Spezza had the tying goal in the third period and Nick Foligno added an empty-netter with 1:08 remaining. Craig Anderson had 39 saves.
Evander Kane had two goals for the Jets, and Blake Wheeler and Alexander Burmistrov also scored. Pavelec finished with 28 saves in the opener of Winnipeg's five-game homestand. The Jets will play 13 of their next 15 at the MTS Centre.
Jets coach Claude Noel was visibly perturbed with his club's performance.
``To tell you I'm disappointed would be putting it mildly,' he said. ``I didn't think we played very intelligently. We didn't play certainly with our minds. We had some energy but I thought it was a poor game in a lot of areas.
``I sensed this would be a really difficult game to win after the first period. I said to the coaches this is a tough game to win and it turned out to be. And as I watched it I had no comfort, no matter what, in that game. There was no period of time when I was comfortable.'
With the Jets trailing 3-2 after two periods, Kane scored both of his goals early in the third period to give Winnipeg a 4-3 lead. He tied the score at 1:24 and got the go-ahead score on the power play 1:17 later.
However, Spezza sent a wrist shot past Pavelec for his ninth of the season to pull the Senators even with 10:25 to go.
Michalek ripped a shot over Pavelec's glove to put Ottawa ahead 1-0 with 4:05 remaining in the opening period.
The teams then combined for four goals in the second and five in the third.
The Jets tied the score at 7:06 of the second period when Wheeler tapped in his second goal of the season. Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien rushed the length of the ice, sent a floater into the slot, and it bounced around to Wheeler all alone in front of the goal.
Burmistrov banked a shot off the inside of Anderson's pad to give the Jets a 2-1 lead 8 minutes later, but Smith jammed a puck past Pavelec to tie it again just 45 seconds later.
Michalek tipped a point shot by defenseman Chris Phillips with 43 seconds remaining in the second period to give Ottawa a 3-2 lead. It was his 14th goal of the season.
NOTES: Senators F Nikita Filatov left the game in the first period after he was hit in the face by the skate of falling Jets winger Eric Fehr. After the game, the club said he suffered a broken nose. ... Next up for Winnipeg is a matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes, who left Winnipeg for the desert in 1996. Coyotes captain Shane Doan, a member of the original Jets, makes his return to Winnipeg. Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and Anaheim's Teemu Selanne are the only other players remaining in the NHL from the earlier Jets.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved