Fisher wings it for Sens

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

The ribs for being the game's first star went to Daniel Alfredsson.

Mike Fisher feasted on the wings.

Fisher, who has been shifted from centre to flank since returning from a shoulder injury, capped a strong game by scoring an unassisted goal at 8:48 of the third period in the Senators' 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. It was the last time a red light would be turned on all night.

"Fisher scored a big goal," said Alfredsson, who will take his lovely wife to dinner at Baton Rouge courtesy of a new promotion this season. "Tampa was coming on pretty hard."

Fisher, who spent most of the night on the left side of Bryan Smolinski and Chris Neil, said the game was "probably" the best he has had this season. His speed was once again a factor. Among his four shots on goal, Bolts netminder John Grahame stoned him on an in-close-and-alone chance during the first period, then on a partial breakaway at the end of the second.

Finally, with the Senators clinging to a one-goal lead, Grahame inexplicably sent a clearing pass up the middle, where Fisher was primed for the interception. He quickly converted the opportunity into his second goal of the season.

"He made a couple of nice saves off me," said Fisher. "It was nice to be the recipient of a nice pass from him to get one."

Indeed, it was a made-to-order goal, served up on a platter.

Starts and Stops:

Despite Tampa's rise to prominence, the Senators still have the Lightning in a bottle. Ottawa has only lost once in the last 19 meetings between the teams ... Three minutes into the game, there's no score. Who else wondered what was wrong with the Senators? ... Marty Havlat could have had another four last night. "I had some great chances," he admitted. "I had a 2-on-1 with Zee (Zdeno Chara) and another 2-on-1 later. He made a lot of good saves." .... Looked like we came very close to seeing the Dark Side of Dominik. Disagreeing with an interference penalty he was called for with his team up by two and 10 minutes left, Hasek was voicing his opinion to the referee when he appeared poised to slam his big goal stick over the back of the net. Alas, he decided to save his first meltdown in a Senators jersey for another day.

Between Periods:

Havlat will be kicking himself if he misses out on winning the Rocket Richard Trophy by one goal -- or even by 15, the way he can score 'em ... Just when you were thinking when's the last time a game went this long without a penalty, Smolinski goes off for tripping at 18:24 of the opening period. Okay, so when's the last time a game went 18:24 without a penalty? ... Ah yes, Senators penalties. Brad Richards scored six seconds into a Fisher charging infraction and Vinny Lecavalier scored nine seconds into a Chara penalty. All told, Tampa had seven power-play opportunities while the Senators had just two. Not exactly a recipe for success, but last night Ottawa got away with it.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...:

Senators play-by-play man Dean Brown turned 44 yesterday, and he did not hesitate when asked about the best present he received. "My cake," said Deano, "because my five-year-old daughter Maya made it for me in her Easy Bake Oven." How, um, sweet ... Some champs. A lost year later and the Bolts are missing one key ingredient to their game. They have no Andre Roy. They have no Chris Dingman. The have nobody for Brian McGrattan to pound. Their top PIMs guy is Pavel Kubina. He's not a fighter. McGrattan sprinkles sugar on his Kubinas when he eats them for breakfast ... Speaking of McGrattan, he and goalie Ray Emery are adding to their collection of "tats" when they go and get the permanent markings down their skin sleeves today. Suppose now they will be brothers in arms.

Ice Chips:

Further proof of the development of Neil. The rugged right winger dangled the Lightning's Dan Boyle on a 1-on-1, but couldn't get a shot away as he was in too deep ... In his 5:27 of ice time, McGrattan recorded three hits, tying him for the team lead with Neil and Chara. The Lightning had just 12 as a team, while the Senators were credited with 23 ... Rookie Andrej Meszaros took a bad hooking penalty with 11 seconds left in the second. But he otherwise had a strong game, finishing with a plus-3.

They Said It:

"I thought we worked really hard tonight. Just a few mental mistakes cost us." -- Tampa sniper Martin St. Louis.

"Everybody has been telling me that the last four years. So that's my goal. If you don't shoot, you can't score." -- Havlat, who is determined to shoot more this season.

SOME THINGS WORTH NOTING

THAT'S CHEESY: We regret to inform you that the Pizza Pizza promotion giving stub-holding fans a free slice whenever the Senators win and score at least five times at home games has been adjusted in accordance with the new free-flowing NHL. In other words, the deal now kicks in at six goals. In other words, even your pizza guy can see the explosions in store at the Corel Centre this season.

HASEK TO THE RESCUE: The Lightning's Fred Modin had a great first-period chance when Senators defencemen Chris Phillips and Wade Redden got their wires crossed on a change. That is, they were both going for the puck, both realized they shouldn't be on the ice at the same time and both jumped over the boards to the bench. Dominik Hasek turned Modin aside on the break. Hasek also bailed out Daniel Alfredsson when he turned Tim Taylor aside from point-blank range after a giveaway by the captain.


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