It's a battle royale

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:46 PM ET

Senators 5, Kings 1

Too bad the Senators only play the Los Angeles Kings once this year.

The fireworks ignited in the Senators' hard-hitting and chippy 5-1 win over the Kings last night spilled into the hallways of the Corel Centre after the game.

Senators coach Bryan Murray took exception to comments made by Kings television broadcaster Jim Fox (he apparently called Murray "unprofessional" and questioned his tactics).

Murray angrily confronted Fox outside the Kings' dressing room. A few feet away, Kings coach Andy Murray was ripping a strip off the Senators' coach.

At the other end of the hallway, a Kings player allegedly made comments to Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek as the player passed him near the Senators dressing room.

"Things are a little different around here, huh?" mused one Senators player. Ummm ... yeah.

The Senators, continuing to shed their "soft" label, didn't back down a bit from the Kings last night as the Senators racked up 78 penalty minutes to the Kings' 41.

"They run around and do a lot of stuff," said Bryan Murray. "That's the way they do it every night."

When asked if it was good the two teams met only once this season, Murray replied: "I'd love to play them. I have no problem with that type of game. You find out quickly who shows up and we did a good job of that."

Including the coach. There's plenty of bad blood between the Murrays after Bryan's tenure at the helm of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

"Pretty much every time we played them in Anaheim, it wound up like this," said Bryan Murray.

Oh, yeah. There was a game. The Senators got a pair of goals from Dany Heatley and singles from Antoine Vermette (shorthanded), Brandon Bochenski and Mike Fisher.

The game turned wild in the third after Los Angeles agitator Sean Avery ran his stick into Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek after a save (Murray wound up taking Hasek out of the net with three minutes to go because he was worried about him getting run).

Three minutes later, Senators enforcer Brian McGrattan went after Avery to even the score and got tossed. Shortly after that, Kings tough guy Jeff Cowan fought an over-matched Senators centre Chris Kelly, who put up a gutsy performance.

Right off the next faceoff, Senators defenceman Zdeno Chara picked up 27 penalty minutes as he went after Kings defenceman Tim Gleason. Chara pummeled him and received an instigator penalty, a fighting major, a misconduct and a game misconduct. He could be suspended for Monday's meeting with the Panthers in Florida for being assessed an instigator penalty in the last five minutes of a game.

The Senators contacted the league last night about having the suspension (and a $10,000 fine for Murray) waived. The rule is in place to prevent coaches from putting goons out on the ice to even scores. Chara was taking a regular turn as he played 26 minutes and 56 seconds last night (Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes had a similar penalty waived earlier this season).

"We didn't take any crap all night," said Senators winger Chris Neil, whose five-minute major and game misconduct for hitting from behind early in the third made him the Senators all-time penalty minutes leader (633 to Denis Vial's 625).

"It didn't matter who it was. It was a hard-hitting game and we kept going. Z (Chara) was stepping up and so was Gratts (McGrattan), though I would have liked to have seen (McGrattan) get a couple more shots in on (Avery)."

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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