Alfredsson ends overtime with goal 401

It wasn’t the script that coach Paul MacLean wanted the Ottawa Senators to follow.

As he said after Monday’s 3-2 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils: “We don’t preach before the game, ‘Let’s give them two and come from behind.’ ”

Once again, though, that was what the Senators did.

They spotted the Devils and Martin Brodeur a two-goal lead, always an iffy thing to do, before mounting a third-period comeback and winning it on a power-play goal by Daniel Alfredsson with 59.4 seconds left in overtime.

It looked almost identical to the one Alfredsson scored on Friday night in overtime to beat the Calgary Flames.

The win was Ottawa’s third in a row: those two in overtime and one against the Buffalo Sabres in a shootout.

MacLean said he’d rather that Senators played with a lead, but he’ll take wins any way he can get them.

“I think our team deals with adversity maybe a little better than prosperity,” he said.

“Lots of time we’ve had the lead and given it up. We’d much rather have the lead, and our goal is to have the lead and be able to finish off the game when you have the lead, not always coming from behind. But we’ll take it.”

The Senators (20-15-5) mounted a third-period comeback on Jason Spezza’s 14th goal of the season and a short-handed goal by Erik Condra.

Chris Neil’s name didn’t appear on the scoresheet, but he got a big assist for the fight he had with the Devils’ Eric Boulton with five minutes left in the second period.

MacLean and Neil’s teammates said it shifted momentum.

“I thought it gave us some energy when maybe we were a little bit flat,” MacLean said.

Dainius Zubrus and David Clarkson, who was in the penalty box for Alfredson’s goal, scored for the Devils (21-15-2).

Craig Anderson faced 29 shots in net for Ottawa, while Brodeur faced 32.

There was one casualty for the Senators. Chris Phillips left the game after the second period with an upper-body injury, possibility a recurrence of an injury that forced him to miss a game last week. It was not immediately known how long he would be out this time.

That leaves two defencemen out with Sergei Gonchar missing his second consecutive game after getting hit in the head with a puck during the pre-game warmup in Buffalo on Saturday.

Devils coach Pete DeBoer was left shaking his head about the third period.

“It was one of those periods where we made a couple of mistakes and it ended up in our net,” he said. “I thought we did a lot of good things.… Obviously we have to find a way to close out these games and get two points.”

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WHY THEY WON: Because they’ve developed an uncanny ability to come back, in comparison to last year’s team that sunk once it got behind.

STUD: Daniel Alfredsson. He got the OT winner again, for the second time in three games.

DUD: Martin Brodeur: It’s tough to do this, but he let in a bad one on Erik Condra’s shorthanded goal, a shot from the right circle that got in on the short side. Ordinary mortals let in goals like that one, not Martin Brodeur.

HELPFUL GOALIE: The assist that Craig Anderson got on Jason Spezza’s goal was his fourth of the season — a new personal high — and gives him 11 for his career.

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