Marc Savard's stick toss gave the Senators a goal, but it also cost Alfredsson his 721st career point

DON BRENNAN

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

A stick thrown in obvious frustration yesterday by Boston's Marc Savard couldn't stop a goal, but did wipe out an assist or two.

Hence, it will also have an effect on at least one record book.

With Bruins goalie Tim Thomas on the bench in favour of an extra skater, Ottawa's Chris Kelly in the penalty box and about a minute left in regulation time, the Senators avoided the potential of collapse with some solid work in their own zone.

As shut down D-men Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips stood strong, the puck wound up with Daniel Alfredsson, who made a great play off the boards to send Antoine Vermette on a breakaway.

Before Vermette could slide it in, Savard tossed his stick to knock the puck in the corner. The official on the spot immediately signaled goal.

The rule states no assists are given in such circumstances.

"I feel bad for Alfie and those guys," said Vermette. "Before I get that break, it means they did a helluva job to get the puck out. It was a great play by Alfie, but I think it all started with the effort of the 'D' down low."

With 46 seconds still to play, it was a timely goal for the Senators in a 3-1 win that, at the final buzzer, pushed them past Montreal and into fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

It would have also marked the 50th point of the season and 721st of his 752-game career for Ottawa's all-time scoring leader, had Savard played it straight.

We know who to blame if, when all is said and done, you fall one short of Wayne Gretzky's record, right Dan?

"Yup," Alfredsson said with grin and a nod. "I'll blame Vermette for not protecting the puck better."

STARTS AND STOPS: The night before picking up his 22nd victory and seventh in eight games, Ray Emery took in the Snoop Dogg concert at the Civic Centre. "It was sick," the 24-year-old goalie said yesterday. Emery was even brought up on stage by the West Coast gangsta, to whom he presented a Senators jersey with the number 187 on the back. The digits are something of a personal licence for Snoop -- the Dogg's tag, if you will -- as they also represent the penal code for murder in California. Ottawa police officers working the concert Friday were not impressed by Emery's gesture and he's already received some messages. "I just wanted to go to the concert and have some fun," said Emery, who is by no means a cop-hater or advocate of murder, but was also aware of the 187 meaning and had arranged the presentation with Snoop's manager. "They said it's his number, and if I brought a jersey I could meet him. It's just their code." Clearly, he had no idea what he thought was an innocent act would create such a fuss.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: After five seasons spent mostly in the Western Conference, Mike Comrie is trying to make a name for himself on this side of the NHL equator. At TD Banknorth Garden in Boston eight days ago, the public address announcer called him Bruce Cormier ... No doubt realizing the true value of Brian McGrattan by reading a column on the Senators enforcer in yesterday's Sun, Bryan Murray gave No. 16 five shifts of ice time in the first period. His 4:18 of ice time to that point was more than seen by Patrick Eaves (3:24), Chris Neil (3:39), Chris Kelly (3:57), Dean McAmmond (4:07), Christoph Schubert (4:10) and Joe Corvo (4:17). Alas, McGrattan only had three shifts the rest of the game ... All-star Dany Heatley didn't pick up a point but made a couple of great plays. The first was a solo short-handed rush in the opening period during which he kept the puck for maybe 15 seconds before passing to Vermette, who might have scored but at least drew a penalty when he was hooked by P.J. Axelsson. A hustling Heatley also came back to intercept a pass on an odd-man rush for the Bruins in the second..

BETWEEN PERIODS: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was back at his former place of employment yesterday. Now he's growing a beard, which could become a decent and necessary disguise if the B's play any more like they did in the second period when they were outshot 14-3 ... Okay, so you're a true Ottawa sports fan if -- while walking across Palladium Drive from Lot 4 and adjacent parking areas before the game yesterday -- you recognized the on-duty cop who was making sure folks didn't get hit by a truck. It was former Rough Rider linebacker DeWayne Knight who, as we remember, used to hit like a truck.

BOTTOM SHELF: The same Patrice Bergeron who derailed the A-Train with a hit for a large chunk of the season in 2003-04 nailed him with a harmless looking shot at the end of the second period. Volchenkov left the ice limping but was back in the third ... Chris Neil was hobbled and in much pain after getting hit in the leg by a Wade Redden blast in the first ... A young male fan in excellent seats a few rows up and between the team benches had a seizure during the second and was taken to the hospital by paramedics.


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