Sens are fighting mad

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- The power play finally clicked and a little fire returned to the Senators' game, but Bryan Murray, The Sequel, began with a result that was all too familiar in the final months of the John Paddock era.

Yes, the Senators lost again.

The 3-1 setback at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers at Wachovia Center was the third straight and seventh in nine games for Ottawa.

While many of the big guns continued shooting blanks, the Senators did get a decent game from goalie Ray Emery, who Murray said was "sharp and focused."

"I thought the effort level was real good," said Murray, kicking off his second term as the team's coach after firing Paddock Wednesday. "It's just disappointing we couldn't score more than one goal."

The Senators lost defenceman Anton Volchenkov for the night when he suffered a bruised chest from blocking a shot at the 17-minute mark of the second period.

The Senators ended their scoring drought at 6:33 when Jason Spezza deflected an Andrej Meszaros point shot on the power play. It set off all sorts of fireworks, and not in celebration of a rare Senators power-play goal. (For those counting at home, Ottawa had failed to score with the man advantage in the previous three games, and only did so once, on 28 chances, in the previous seven).

Still standing in front of Philly goalie Martin Biron, Spezza threw his arms up and let out a whoop for an entire team that had forgotten how to put the puck into the net. Biron didn't like it much and went after Spezza, pushing him from behind.

Somewhere in the ensuing scuffle, Spezza was deemed by officials to have thrown a butt-end. He was given a five-minute major and game misconduct, which prompted Murray's first verbal barrage on referees in more than eight months.

Murray went at Marc Joannette, then Greg Kimmerly. Of course, they didn't change their minds on the call, but it was nonetheless refreshing to see some anger coming from the Ottawa bench.

Murray said Kimerly called the butt-end on Spezza. Murray said he watched the replay "several times" and didn't see anything that was worth a game misconduct.

Said Spezza: "One guy has a hold of my collar and then I get cross-checked from behind. I was just trying to defend myself a little more than anything. I've never scored a goal then got kicked out of the game right after it."

Spezza said Biron was yelling at him for "celebrating in his crease and trying to rub it in.

"I guess he doesn't like to get scored on," said Spezza.

The Senators showed some fight when Mike Fisher dropped the gloves with Steve Downie, but the rhubarb had nothing to do with the dirty hit Downie delivered on Dean McAmmond. Fisher tried to pull a Flyer off a fallen Shean Donovan, and Downie threw down his mitts and pulled Fisher off.

The Senators were credited with 24 hits to the Flyers' 15. Fisher and Christoph Schubert led the way with five each.


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