Sens blitz B’s in third


OTTAWA (AP) – Daniel Alfredsson scored 12:25 into the third and the Ottawa Senators spoiled Boston rookie Phil Kessel’s return from cancer with five goals in the final period for a 5-2 comeback victory over the Bruins on Tuesday night.

Kessel, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer a month ago, returned to the Bruins’ lineup for his first NHL game since having surgery Dec. 11 to remove one of his testicles.

Ottawa scoring leader Dany Heatley tied it at 2 with his 26th goal at 5:43 of the third after Mike Comrie ruined Boston goalie Tim Thomas’ shutout bid with his first Ottawa goal 2:22 into the period. Heatley made a sensational play to set up the Senators captain’s go-ahead goal as he swept the puck toward the slot while he was sliding headfirst along the ice on the left side.

Alfredsson spun around and beat Thomas to give Ottawa – which fell behind 2-0 just over midway through the first – its first lead.

Patrick Eaves made it 4-2 and Chris Neil scored the Senators’ fifth goal of the period into an empty net. Marco Sturm beat Ottawa goalie Ray Emery on a penalty shot 2:40 into the first, and Paul Mara put Boston up by two with his second of the season midway through the first. Kessel was given a warm reception from the crowd of 18,292 during a stoppage in play 9:49 into the game when “Welcome Back, Phil Kessel” was displayed over his image on Scotiabank Place’s video scoreboard.

Boston, which played without injured captain Zdeno Chara, lost for the first time in four meetings with the Senators this season. The Bruins got off to a fast start, taking a 2-0 lead 11:37 in.

With Bruins defenseman Milan Jurcina off for holding, Sturm was awarded a short-handed penalty shot early in the first after he was hauled down from behind by defenseman Andrej Meszaros during a breakaway. Sturm deked Emery by stopping sharply as he drove the net before lifting a shot over the Ottawa goalie’s right pad.

Notes: Bruins coach Dave Lewis used his time-out following Heatley’s goal. … Kessel has five goals and four assists in 28 games this season. He scored one goal during a two-game conditioning assignment with Providence of the AHL over the weekend. … Sturm has two goals in four shootout attempts this season. He is 4-for-10 overall. … Comrie has one goal and two assists in four games with Ottawa.

AP-ES-01-09-07 2219EST