Morrison right at home

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Mike Morrison lived his dream at Scotiabank Place last night.

Making his first start in goal for the Senators was twice as nice for the 26-year-old native of Medford, Mass. as it was also the first time he had ever faced the team he idolized as a kid.

"I'm definitely dying to get in there, pull on the jersey and play a game from the start," Morrison, who had served as Ray Emery's backup and made two relief appearances in the previous 17 games, said before his 18-stop performance in Ottawa's 4-3 overtime win at The Bank. "It's the Bruins. I'm a Bostonian. I'm gonna have some fun."

"I have nothing to lose, really."

Morrison, whose childhood heroes were Terry O'Reilly, Ray Bourque, Cam Neely and, of course, Reggie Lemelin, Andy Moog and Pete Peeters, grew up a mile from the old Boston Garden.

"I used to go there all the time," he said. "It was a good old rink. There were holes everywhere, it was easy to sneak in."

He also joked about enjoying the college games at the Garden, and "trying to find a girlfriend in there among all the co-eds."

There would have been no scanning the crowd for babes last night, though. He'll be shuttled out of Ottawa's goaltending picture when Dominik Hasek decides it's safe to return, but Morrison could be competing for a job here next season if the Dominator hangs them up or moves on.

Last night gave him an indication of what good work it can be, behind guys like Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden. Morrison faced only three shots in a weird first period that also saw the Bruins have two breakaways and a penalty shot. Marco Sturm hit the post on the latter.

"He told me if he got the chance to win the game, he would," said coach Bryan Murray, who thought the first two Boston goals were good ones and wondered if Morrison was screened on the third. "For a young kid to be sitting on the bench for as long as he has, he did a good job."

Morrison called Brad Stuart's game-tying goal with 18 seconds left a nice shot. "It had eyes," he said, admitting he had a hard time picking the puck up. "I caught it at the last minute, but I couldn't close my arm on it. It would have been nice to end it in regulation time, but all in all, it's two points and we needed it."

Starts And Stops:

Can't remember the last time a Senator returning from injury received an ovation the first time he touched the puck -- or even if it's ever happened before -- but that was the reception that greeted Zdeno Chara as he came out of his own zone 27 seconds into the game. You might be able to get only $6 million here next season, Zee, but where else ya gonna get all that love? ... Frustrating few seconds for Dany Heatley near the midway mark of the middle period. First he gets hooked by Milan Jurcina on a breakaway in search of his 49th goal. Then right after the ensuing faceoff, his point-to-point pass aimed at Wade Redden is intercepted by Travis Green and turned into a shorthanded goal. Heatley now has three games left to score a pair and reach the magical 50 mark ... Redden, who missed seven games to be with his ill mother, said he worked out often but skated only three times in the last two weeks. "Obviously, there are some important things going on with me," he said. "But it was the right time to come back."

Between Periods:

In declaring his intention to play this weekend, Marty Havlat said his surgeon has noticed a big improvement in his reconstructed shoulder, which the winger believes is now "much stronger" than it was. "I feel pretty confident," he said after yesterday's morning skate. "I was testing it along the boards, some guys were trying to hit me, and everything felt pretty good. I just need to get used to doing things at game speed again." In Havlat's game, that is very fast.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm:

Remember when the Senators used to try and entertain fans with video clips on the scoreboard during stops in play? Those days might be back, as a bit of the bit filmed when This Hour Has 22 Minutes visited the dressing room a couple of months ago was shown during the first. Maybe the team is preparing to give the customers more of a bang for the big playoff buck ... Back in the B's lineup these days is former Senators sniper Shawn McEachern, who never could be called a stupid man. Old Mac took a slashing penalty on Chara and then stared down the Big Man, perhaps aware that Chara's fighting days are on hold ... As for keeping track of the Senators while he was gone, Redden smiled: "I've got a new blackberry now and I had it on NHL.com when I couldn't watch the game." ... Earlier in the day, Spezza rationalized that the team's four-game losing streak was "almost not a bad thing to have happen. It lets you know what you have to do in the playoffs." As an organization, eight years of post-season failure should have also done that.

At The Buzzer:

Christoph Schubert twice made 624-game veteran Hal Gill look like a soft and lazy chump in doing all the work on Antoine Vermette's goal ... Having their ice time chopped back with the return of Chara and Redden were Schubert (6:56) and Filip Novak (3:04). Still playing more than he has deserved is Tyler Arnason (11:35) ... Vaclav Varada's scoring touch remains AWOL as his drought has now stretched to 22 games, but he did make a nifty move on Jucina to get a shot on goal, and it was that chance that produced the rebound Chris Kelly converted.


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