Sens take a double hit

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

BOSTON -- The Senators lost more than just another game to the Bruins last night.

They also lost one of their best players.

Mike Fisher left the game with a right ankle injury when he crashed into the boards and twisted his foot 10 minutes into the first period of a 3-2 shootout defeat at the hands of the Bruins -- Ottawa's fourth loss in a row to their struggling division rivals.

There's no indication when Fisher may be back, but it might not be for awhile.

"I just got X-rays and it's not broken, just sprained," said Fisher. "How bad, I'm not sure. I've never had this type of injury before. It was definitely pretty painful at the time. .

"I just got it caught in the boards. The replay didn't look very good, I'm probably lucky it's not a break.

"It's not fun," he added of being injured. "But I've got a month until the playoffs. That's my main concern."

Also concerning: The Buffalo Sabres won their eighth straight game last night, cutting Ottawa's lead in the Northeast Division to a single point. The teams meet tomorrow night at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m., No TV).

Meanwhile, the Senators are lucky the Bruins require about a truckload of four leaf clovers to even make the post-season tournament. The Senators don't need the risk of running into them again in the games that matter most.

On St. Patrick's Day eve in very green and Irish Beantown, the Senators were given everything they could handle by the 13th-place team in their conference.

They fell behind 2-0 before coming to life in the third and then losing on Patrice Bergeron's shootout goal.

It was the fifth straight loss for the Senators in a shootout, as Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza failed to score once again.

Coach Bryan Murray had wanted to use Antoine Vermette, but it was ruled that he his stick, shaved at the end, was illegal in shootouts.

"He's allowed to play with it in the game but not the shootout," said Murray. "Some of the things that happened, I don't understand."

One of them was the extra penalty Ottawa received in overtime.

The Senators found themselves in a pickle when Chris Phillips went to the box for drilling Brad Boyes into the glass. The hit prompted a skirmish between Bryan Smolinski and Marco Sturm that saw the Senators veteran take an extra two minutes for roughing.

Murray said he was told Smolinski suckered Sturm, but after viewing the replay he thought the opposite, and that Smolinski just hit him back. He also wondered about the call on Phillips.

The Senators killed survived the final 3:43 of overtime shorthanded.

The Senators trailed 2-0 in the third period when Spezza and Vermette scored 3:52 apart to tie it up.

The Bruins opened the scoring 89 seconds into the game when rookie Boyes notched his 18th of the year on a rebound after Emery had made a nice save.

The scored stayed that way until the 1:07 mark of the third, when Boyes linemate and Patrice Bergeron scored his 21st on a backhand from behind the net that bounced off the front of the Ottawa goalie's pads.

The Senators finally came to life in the third, however. First Spezza picked up his 18th at the 7:24 mark of the period and then Vermette tied the game with his 16th.

"It was deception," Vermette said of the outcome. "We showed character coming back and killing the penalties in overtime. It seemed we had momentum ... we wanted to get that extra point."

While Smolinski set up the Vermette equalizer, Tyler Arnason also drew an assist.

Both goals came on nice dekes.

The game was a physical affair, with the Bruins doing most of the pushing around.

Both netminders turned in strong games, with Emery stopping 28 shots and Tim Thomas pushing aside 31.

"I made a couple of mistakes playing the puck," Emery said, referring specifically to Bergeron's first goal.

"That's my fault. I've got to play those better."


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