Murray won't name starter

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Ray Emery will be back in the net tonight for the Senators.

Probably.

Senators coach Bryan Murray was non-commital yesterday when asked if Emery, who has served his three-game suspension for slashing Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre, would be back in goal against the Sabres.

"I haven't talked to the goaltenders yet," said Murray when asked who would start tonight.

OFF AT PRACTICE

Emery might have been a touch tardy getting onto the ice yesterday for practice at the Bell Sensplex and didn't have the greatest practice.

When he was suspended, Murray said Emery would not lose his starter's job.

"I'm glad it's over. I'm looking forward to getting back in there," said Emery.

Martin Gerber, who lost the starter's job to Emery in November, won all three starts during Emery's absence, beating the Panthers, Thrashers and the Oilers in a shootout.

His play was somewhat uneven at times, but the bottom line is he won and delivered the win over the Oilers by stopping Alex Hemsky and Petr Sykora in the shootout.

GERBER WON'T BITE

"He won the games and that's what you ask your goaltender to do," said Murray.

When asked yesterday if winning three games should earn him more playing time down the stretch, Gerber wasn't biting.

"I don't really want to think about that stuff," he said. (Sitting) is not easy, but you never know what is going to happen."

Emery, who still leaves the rink with his left wrist wrapped in ice, said he didn't need the rest that came with his suspension.

"When I take time off, my wrist feels worse," he said.

HEAR AND THERE: There was more talk yesterday about forwards running goalies after what happened Tuesday night between the Rangers' Sean Avery and New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, who wound up in a shoving match after Avery bumped Brodeur repeatedly. "I always thought goalies complained too much before," said Emery, who said he would prefer to settle things himself, "but I can't do that. That's the frustrating part. I couldn't care less if I got hit 100 times in a game, but if you can't hit the guy back, then they've got to do something (to protect the goalies)." ... Gerber said things have changed when it comes to hitting goaltenders. "It used to be if you touched a goaltender, you got killed," he said. "It's not like that anymore. Respect is down, too. Hitting is one thing, but now you get cross-checked in the face. That stuff didn't happen before." ... Classy move by Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish to go and find Senators coach Bryan Murray after the game Tuesday night to congratulate him on his 600th win. Murray appreciated it, especially after he once challenged MacTavish to a fight in the heat of an ugly one between Anaheim and Edmonton ... Senators F Dean McAmmond scored the winner against the Oilers in the shootout on the 15th anniversary of his first NHL game. Playing with the Blackhawks back then, he got an assist on a goal by Rob Brown. As fate would have it, Brown was in Scotiabank Place on Tuesday night working the Oilers' pay-per-view telecast. McAmmond scored on a crisp shot and seems to have worked himself into a regular shootout role. "If you saw me deke," he said, "you'd know why I shoot."


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