Jason Spezza is well aware he is here to produce points. He knows he hasn't been doing it enough lately.

The Senators' top centre has five points (2-3) in the club's last 12 games. If Ottawa is to make the playoffs, they'll need more production as they prepare to hit the 50-game mark Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals.

Nobody has any problem with Spezza's effort because it has been there.

"I'm not playing as much and I'm not playing in an offensive role as much," said Spezza Sunday. "I'm just trying to help us win games and we're winning games."

That doesn't mean Spezza wants to compete for the Selke as the NHL's top defensive player, either.

"But I expect myself to get on the board every night and contribute offensively," said Spezza. "It's not happening but I feel I've played pretty good hockey and I'm trying to do what is best for the team right now."

His minus-17 rating is hard for him to swallow.

"It's been a frustrating stat for me this year," he said. "I've been plus-20s in the past. This year when something goes wrong it seems I'm on the ice for it. It is what it is. I'm mature enough of a player to know I have to be on the ice for more goals for, than against.