On a night the Senators welcomed back their best defenceman from a groin injury, they nearly lost their top scorer.
At the end of his first shift, Dany Heatley had a breakaway when he was chopped down from behind by free-swinging Minnesota Wild defenceman Nick Schultz.
Heatley went sliding hard into the net and appeared to catch at least part of his head on the crossbar.
After a breathless moment for Senators fans, Heatley picked himself off the ice and headed to the bench, checking to see if the gap in his smile had widened along the way.
Each time the replay was shown on the scoreboard, a loud gasp emitted from the crowd.
Before the start of his second shift, Heatley skated over to referee Paul Devorski and had a couple of words. We're guessing they included "why" and "wasn't" and "Schultz" and "put" and "in" and "the" and "box?"
A couple more some of us would have added are "what" and "about" and "a" and "freakin" and "penalty" and "shot"?
STARTS AND STOPS: All you really need to know about last night's game -- nine of Ottawa's 18 skaters had themselves a point by the 14:06 mark of the first period. And none of Minnesota's had any ... "A-Train" Volchenkov obviously decided it was high-time to introduce Pavol "Pleased" Demitra to those sitting on the Senators bench, when he almost deposited the Wild sniper on their laps with a first period body check ... Speaking of "two-fours", the reason in-stands hostess Kathy Mueller was not in the stands last night is that she's in the Dominican Republic not being 23 anymore. Knew you were missin' her.
BETWEEN PERIODS: So much for sentiment -- Wild coach Jacques Lemaire did not include either Kurtis Foster (Carp) or Todd White (Kanata) in his starting six. The way his team fell behind so quickly, he maybe should have made a similar decision with Manny Fernandez (Etobicoke) ... How low can you go? In the 1994 NHL entry draft, Wild D Kim Johnsson went lower than low as the 286th and very last player selected. Picked 285th was former Hull Olympiques D Steven Low ... That was a banner year for scouts. A surprisingly high total of eight players selected in 1994's final round made it to the NHL: Johnsson (Rangers), Per Gustafsson (Panthers), Jeremy Stevenson (Mighty Ducks), Ladislav Benysek (Oilers), Dick Tarnstrom (Islanders), Antti Tormanen (Senators), Scott Fankhouser (Blues) and Pavel Torgayev (Flames). You'd never see that these days. There is no 11th round. Last call is the ninth ... Wild winger Pascal Dupuis surveyed the large media scrum around White after the morning skate on the day of his homecoming. "Oh, are we playing Ottawa tonight?" Dupuis deadpanned. "Who's that little guy in the middle? Whitey?"
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: If Ray Emery is still wearing Martin Gerber's trapper, he's doing a good job of teaching it how to catch. That was a beauty grab he made off a Mark Parrish slapper in the second that may or may not have been going wide ... Chris Phillips was wondering if anybody happened to catch what song The Bank's music man played after he scored Saturday night. "It's been a long time since I had one here ... I don't know what my song is," Phillips told Le Droit's "Sleepy" Sly St. Laurent. Yes, it has been a while. Phillips' only other goal this year came in Buffalo. And his lone goal of 2005-06 was scored in Washington. With the work stoppage of 2004-05, you'd have to go back to when he had seven the previous season to find out when he scored his last goal at home. If you find out, let me know. Or don't ... A great backhander found net for Chris Neil's seventh of the season. He'd be his team's leading scorer if he played in Columbus, Phoenix and, of all places, Detroit ... Notice the number of Quebec-born players on the Wild? Lemaire sure has. Asked what he does to keep players focused the day of a game in their home town, he replied: "I put handcuffs on them to keep them in the hotel." With Minnesota visiting the Habs next, he added: "In Montreal, I don't have enough handcuffs."
ALONG THE BOARDS: A 4-0 game that became 4-1 midway through the second almost quickly turned 4-2 then 4-3, but Branko Radivojevic couldn't swat a bouncing puck into the open cage and Emery held his ground to stop a rushing White ... Prior to calling last night's game for the Team 1200, Dave "The Voice" Schreiber remembered his first year as a play-by-play man and doing a CJHL game that featured a Smiths Falls Bears forward by the name of Doug White. That'd be in 1965, and Todd's dad ... Working his last game as a security guard at Scotiabank Place was Don Moore. His vest will be tough to fill.