Murray hits milestone

Senators head coach Bryan Murray got his 600th victory as a coach in the NHL on Tuesday in Ottawa....

Senators head coach Bryan Murray got his 600th victory as a coach in the NHL on Tuesday in Ottawa. (Sun Media/Tony Caldwell)

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:11 AM ET

Bryan Murray is now in some pretty good company.

Check out these names, huh?

Scotty Bowman. Al Arbour. Dick Irvin. Pat Quinn.

The Senators punched Murray's ticket into the 600 Club last night with a 4-3 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers, elevating their coach to exclusive status.

Murray and the aforementioned quartet are the only coaches in NHL history who can pull up a chair to the table for coaches who have won 600 games.

"How many wins could we have had if we had shootouts in the 1980s? I had about 171 ties there," said Murray, who received a congratulatory cake after reaching the milestone. "It's nice to win and it's nice to get 600 wins. It's elite company for sure and I respect that a great deal."

Win 600 will be memorable. Dean McAmmond and ex-Oiler Mike Comrie scored in the shootout, while Senators goaltender Martin Gerber stoned Oilers Ales Hemsky and Peter Sykora, the latter with a spectacular glove save.

Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert scored his first goal of the season with 19.9 seconds left in the third period to send the game to extra time as the Senators blew a 3-1 third-period lead.

Hemsky had a great chance to win it in overtime, circling the Senators net almost twice with Gerber scrambling for position, but Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson checked him just as he was about to shoot at the open side.

Oilers coach Craig MacTavish had wished before the game the milestone would not be reached against his desperate club, but the efforts of Senators Mike Fisher and the freshly shorn Alfredsson (goal and assist each) were simply too much for the undermanned Oilers to overcome.

Sykora had both Oilers goals, his second with just under five minutes to go to make it 3-2.

"To get to 600 wins coaching at this level in these pressure-filled times is special," said MacTavish.

"It's great to have that kind of success. Milestones like that for coaches are few and far between."

Bowman leads the way with 1,244 wins, followed by Arbour (781), Irvin (692) and Quinn (657).

The goal-challenged Oilers had scored just 58 goals in 28 games away from home going into last night's game and had scored just four in the first three games of this make-or-break seven-game road trip, but came alive last night.

With the Senators up 2-0 on goals by Dany Heatley and Fisher, they looked like they had things well in hand. But the Oilers power play clicked early in the third to give some life to the remarkable number of Oiler fans among the crowd of 19,716 in Scotia bank Place last night.

Sykora pulled the trigger from the point, blowing a slapper by Gerber at 1:34.

Gerber was screened on the play by Oilers winger Ryan Smyth (who else?), who had his heels parked on the edge of the blue paint.

The Senators seemed to have things well in hand to that point. Heatley finally capitalized on what had been an overwhelming start for the home side which saw them outshooting the Oilers 10-1 halfway through the crisply played first period.

He fired a shot from almost at the left -wing boards down by the faceoff dot that found its way under and through Jussi Markkanen at 14:44 of the first.

The goal was Heatley's 33rd of the season and his second in seven games. Alfredsson scored his 20th of the season -- his ninth 20-goal season in 11 years -- to make it 3-1 at 12:17 of the third.

Gerber, meanwhile, won all three starts in place of the suspended Ray Emery, who returns to the Senators net tomorrow night in Buffalo (7 p.m., A-Channel).


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