Hossa scored his second goal of the game with 64 seconds remaining to give the Senators a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers.
After winning a battle in the right corner, Hossa moved to the bottom of the faceoff circle and beat former teammate Jani Hurme for his 33rd goal, moving past Vancouver’s Markus Naslund for the league lead.
“(Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh) was all over me in the corner, but I stayed with the play and was fortunate enough to get a good shot on Jani,” Hossa said. “The league lead is not that important right now because the focus is on the team and continuing to win. It’s nice, but the team effort is what matters at this point.”
One of two Senators going to the All-Star Game next month, Hossa scored an almost identical goal with 90 seconds to go in the first period to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead. On that one, he beat Hurme to the stick side.
“I think Hossa had a really tremendous individual effort on both goals,” Ottawa coach Jacques Martin said. “He came out of the corner and made great plays. But also, (Shaun) Van Allen really made great plays getting the puck to him.”
The Senators also avoided losing two straight games for the first time since November 8-9. They were coming off Monday’s 6-2 setback at Tampa Bay.
“I think it shows the depth and the character of our guys,” Martin said. “They dig down and work extremely hard. It was a tough battle.”
Rookie defenseman Ivan Majesky scored his first NHL goal 8:13 into the third period to lift Florida into a 1-1 tie. After Ivan Novoseltsev put a shot off the left goalpost, Majesky jammed the puck past Patrick Lalime.
“It’s nothing great because we lost the game,” Majesky said. “At the time, I was very excited, but the end result was we did not win the game. It was a very tough loss and that’s what I’m thinking about now. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel different.”
“Give them credit, they kept coming at us,” said Lalime, who made 16 saves. “I made sure I had good looks at the shots. The bounces were tough because the ice was terrible tonight.”
Magnus Arvedson was denied by Hurme on his first NHL penalty shot 9:39 into the first period when he tried to go between the pads.
“I thought he would try to go five-hole. He went straight and I managed to get the stick on it,” said Hurme, who has stopped both penalty shots in his career, also rejecting Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis on January 12, 2002.
“It should not have been a penalty shot,” Panthers coach Mike Keenan said. “He got a clear-cut, quality shot on net on the backhand.”
The Panthers grabbed a share of the league lead with their 12th one-goal loss, dropping to 2-6-0-1 in the last nine games overall.
“Jani had a decent game but only faced 17 shots. Better than the last one,” Keenan said, referring to a 12-2 loss at Washington on January 11.