No pain, no gain

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:16 AM ET

Ray Emery has a sore catching hand and he wears a big trapper.

No wonder Chris Phillips ended Saturday's game against Buffalo in pain.

With time winding down and the Sabres pressing, Phillips instinctively reached out to stop a shot with his left hand.

A few seconds later --while his teammates mobbed Emery in celebration of a 3-1 victory -- Phillips was in the dressing room by himself looking for a bullet to bite.

"It hit a nerve," said Phillips, who will attempt to wrap his mitt around a stick when the Senators return to practice this morning.

"It felt like someone was pouring boiling hot water on my hand. I don't even know if (the shot) was going to hit the net."

Phillips wasn't the only one sacrificing his body for the cause Saturday night.

Anton "A-Train" Volchenkov padded his NHL-leading blocked shots total with eight more -- which was the same number as the entire Sabres team had.

Volchenkov, who saw more ice than any player from either team at 25:39, now has 117 blocked shots on the season. Next in line are Atlanta Thrashers Greg De Vries and Andy Sutton, who have 96 each.

And Chris Neil racked up another 12 hits (no other player had half that many) to increase his league-leading total to 129. The Rangers' Ryan Hollweg had 103 going into last night's game, as did Montreal's Mike Komisarek.

WHIFF OF 20: A fan stopped Jason Spezza from becoming the sixth player to reach the 20-goal plateau this season. His own fan. Already with two goals in Saturday's game against the Sabres, Spezza had a chance to complete his hat trick at 7:10 of the third period when he had his arm hooked by Teppo Numminen on a breakaway. Awarded the penalty shot, Spezza decided against the deke, which he had done beautifully and successfully on a break against Dominik Hasek on Tuesday night. Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller appeared to have little trouble stopping Spezza's attempt to go through his legs. "I had him five-hole ... I just fanned on it," Spezza said. "He came up far, to force me to deke. I know him really well and he knows me. He knows my go-to is top glove. I think I had him."

THE RETURN OF ZEE: As of last update, fewer than 750 tickets were still available for tomorrow's visit to Scotiabank Place by the Boston Bruins. It will be Zdeno Chara's first game back in Ottawa since he bolted as a free agent last summer. Also, 1,500 tickets remained for Thursday's game against Tampa.


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