Luke Richardson sent a subtle message to the rest of the NHL on Saturday night.
And in doing so, he taught rookie Brandon Dubinsky a lesson that was about as subtle as a punch in the face.
The Senators defenceman let it be known that he still has a pretty good right when he buckled Dubinsky -- a 21-year-old Rangers forward who has been on the Earth only a few months longer than Richardson has been in the league -- with an overhand hook late in the 3-1 win.
Richardson took a couple of lefts from Dubinsky when he appeared to say enough's enough and delivered the knuckle sandwich square to the kid's jaw.
For those who missed it, the fight is on YouTube, but the video website doesn't show the case of rubber legs Dubinsky had when trying to get to back to his feet.
"I don't even know how to use YouTube," Richardson, the 38-year-old veteran in his 20th season, said with a laugh yesterday. "I guess that's what you get for picking on the old guy. You learn the hard way."
Dubinsky asked Richardson for the fight, obviously hoping to give a restless crowd something to cheer about. The next words he would utter would be "I'm okay, I'm okay" as he staggered from wall-to-wall down the corridor heading to the Rangers' dressing room.
It was the second scrap of the game, serving as something of an undercard to the main brawl between Brian McGrattan and Colin Orr in the second period.
"I know he ran me in the first period, but so did everybody else," Richardson said when asked of the lead-up. "I asked Grats after the game if there was a target on my back that I didn't know about."
HEAD GAMES: C Dean McAmmond looked good through most of his first full practice with his teammates while recovering from the Steve Downie pre-season cheapshot. But later, he admitted the workout was gruelling. "No headaches, but I probably could have one," McAmmond said with a chuckle. "Not because of the hit, but because I'm ready to pass out." McAmmond doesn't know when he'll be able to return to the lineup, but ruled out Thursday's game against the Habs. "Everything looks good, but I still don't have very good range in my shoulder," he said. LW Chris Kelly missed practice because he's under the weather, while C Mike Fisher and D Wade Redden were given the day off to rest some soreness.
THIS AND THAT: G Martin Gerber had a particularly interesting follow-up to a great save off Brendan Shanahan during a Rangers' 5-on-3 advantage in the third period on Saturday. He let go of his stick, grabbed the loose puck, and tossed it to centre ice. In doing so, he almost plucked Chris Phillips in the head. "I was scared," Phillips laughed yesterday. "I didn't know what he was doing. I thought he was just mad because he got slashed earlier." ... As of yesterday there were only about 250 tickets left for Thursday's game against the Habs ... Rookie Nick Foligno put on some dazzling moves in yesterday's practice, particularly on one rush in which he snuck by a couple of defenceman and then deked Gerber for a goal. Before the drill was over, he deflected a waist-high shot from the point by Gerber for the fastest two practice goals by a rookie winger from Buffalo in Senators history ... A few minutes later, Foligno incurred the wrath of Ray Emery during a goal-mouth scramble. Emery responded by taking a slash at him. Did he get your bad wrist Ray? "Nah," Emery said, smiling. "I just chop guys every once in a while."