Difficult day for Fisher

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

Senators 4, Bruins 2

Mike Fisher's long day ended yesterday with the Senators forward feeling like it was worth it.

Two plane rides, an emotional memorial service and then a game against the Boston Bruins -- the second game in just over 24 hours -- is not a typical Saturday.

Fisher travelled yesterday morning to Flesherton for Bonnie Neil's memorial service, showing his support for teammate and best friend Chris Neil.

Bonnie Neil died Tuesday in a car accident.

"It was emotional. There was a lot of crying, some laughs, a little bit of everything," said Fisher, who travelled with the rest of the Senators entourage in owner Eugene Melnyk's plane.

"I'm glad I could be there and Chris appreciated the support."

Fisher said Neil will return to Ottawa today. Neil should be available for Tuesday night's game here against the Montreal Canadiens.

The Senators' entourage returned around 2:30 yesterday afternoon and then Fisher had to shift into game mode.

He turned in another strong effort, playing almost 18 minutes, typical of the increased ice time he's had the last few games (he played a season-high 25:10, tops among Senators forwards in Friday's win over the Islanders).

His hustle led to Dany Heatley's power-play goal in the second as Fisher banged the stick of the B's Brian Leetch, preventing him from clearing the puck. (Fisher at first had an assist on the play, but it was given to Daniel Alfredsson).

Fisher led the team in hits last night and also paid the price in front of the B's net, taking a shot by teammate Zdeno Chara.

It was a strong performance at the end of a difficult day.

Hear and There:

The foam hadn't even settled on the beer when Heatley extended his club-record scoring streak to 21 games with an assist on Jason Spezza's goal 34 seconds into the game ... Miss a little, miss a lot: Spezza scored nine seconds into the second before a lot of fans had settled back into their seats. Clearly, you want to be in your seat for the drop of the puck with these guys ... The biggest trip of the night was by one of the kids in the between-periods relay race. She blew a tire on the first turn, went flying out the Zamboni door exit and came to rest about 20 feet down the hall ... With D Wade Redden out with a knee injury, Chara topped the 30-minute mark for the third time this year.

Revelations:

On Spezza's second goal, rookie D Andrej Meszaros was originally credited with his first NHL goal. Turns out Spezza tipped it on its 65-foot journey to the net. Spezza wasn't making any apologies. "He'll play for a long time," said Spezza. "He'll get lots." ... There aren't many guys better along the boards than Senators W Peter Schaefer. He just pried another puck free during a penalty kill in the first and Martin Havlat whipped it down the ice ... Didn't even realize Joe Thornton was playing last night for the Bruins until he iced the puck three minutes into the second period. Oh, wait a minute: That might have been him in the background as Spezza was scoring his first goal.

Speculations:

Rookie W Patrick Eaves keeps getting the job done. With the Senators protecting a lead in the third, he dumped Boston's Tom Fitzgerald with an open-ice hit in the slot, then hustled to win a battle on the wall and get the puck out ... Heatley can play both ends of the rink. He made the stop -- sort of -- when Senators G Dominik Hasek got caught out of the net. "He went five-hole on me. I saw Dom out of the net and figured I better get back there." The puck went between Heatley's skates, along the goal line and was swept away by Brian Pothier ... How is Thornton going to make Team Canada playing like this? He was a non-factor last night until getting an assist on Nick Boynton's late goal. Based on last night's game, you'd take Spezza at this point, no question.

Parting Shot:

I don't want to say Hasek got deked way out of the net on Brad Isbister's goal in the first, but the goalie should have paid $123.93 for that seat.

SOME THINGS WORTH NOTING ...

B'S SWARMING: It seemed colder than usual in the Corel Centre. Up in the pressbox, Bruins GM Mike O'Connell, under fire in Beantown, was wearing a matching kevlar scarf to go with his bulletproof vest.

FIGHT, ORR MAYBE NOT: There had to be more than a few Senators fans disappointed to hear Bruins tough guy Colton Orr was a scratch last night. That left Senators battler Brian McGrattan without a dance partner.

DEFENSIVE ZONE TRAP: Senators G Dominik Hasek picked up his fourth delay of game penalty of the season for touching the puck outside the "goalie trap" last night. His eight minutes on the season trails only Dallas' Marty Turco, who has 10.

FOURTH AND ONE: Good shift for the fourth line in the first: McGrattan bothered Bruins D Hal Gill enough for Antoine Vermette to steal the puck and have a good chance.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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