'Stupid thing to do'

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

BUFFALO -- Martin Havlat says he'll try not to be so "stupid" in the future.

The Senators winger, who will return to the lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena, says he's learned his lesson after serving a five-game suspension for kicking Boston defenceman Hal Gill.

"It was a stupid thing to do," Havlat told the Sun. "I don't disagree with anybody who says that. There is no place for kicking in hockey.

"I hope I will never do that again. I have to make sure I make better decisions right away (on the ice). I can't react so stupidly right away."

Coach Bryan Murray said Havlat's absence hurt the Senators.

"I guess he's found out kicking doesn't pay," said Murray. "It costs the team and people get hurt because of it.

"If you get suspended, it can hurt everybody. We lost two games while he was out.

"I know he may have made a difference in one of them (the 3-2 loss to Carolina last Monday).

"It hurts your reputation as a player. Some people have been saying some things that weren't complimentary towards him and rightfully so.

"What he has to realize is if situations like this arise, he can't take matters into his own hands, or in this case his feet, and he has to let somebody else settle it. That being said, he is a highly skilled player who adds speed to our lineup. We need him out on the ice."

Havlat said watching was tough.

"It was painful. That's for sure," he said. "You want to be on the ice playing and helping the team to win. You don't want to be watching from the stands."

Murray said he will likely start Havlat on a line with winger Peter Schaefer and centre Antoine Vermette. Decisions on line combinations will be made this morning after the skate.

Havlat needs to start capitalizing on scoring chances, with just one goal and two assists in five games.

"I missed five games. I just want to get back to playing," said Havlat. "I'm just happy to be back on the ice. This was a long two weeks sitting and watching."


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