Disastrous night for Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Bryan Murray could be facing suspension after being ejected from Monday night's 3-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks for protesting a referee's call.

The rematch of last spring's Stanley Cup final ended the same result -- an Ottawa defeat -- but the Senators didn't go down without a fight. And, at the end, the club's GM/coach didn't even get to stick around to see the finish as Murray was thrown out in the third period.

"I just kept telling (referee Wes McCauley) it was a bull---t call. 'That's a bull---t call you made. He said, 'Say it again and you're gone,' so I said it again," said Murray.

The bad news doesn't end there, either. Ottawa also lost captain Daniel Alfredsson to an "upper body injury." He was crosschecked in the ribs by Francois Beauchemin and didn't come back after a shift in the third. Murray is expected to shed more light on that situation today as the team continues its four-game west coast road trip.

A double-minor midway through the third period, including an unsportsmanlike penalty to Murray for jawing at the officials and a high stick on Mike Fisher, gave the Ducks the insurance they needed in a tight, 2-1 game. Scott Niedermayer gave the Ducks a two-goal lead at 9:59 on the ensuing 5-on-3.

Murray was then given a 10-minute misconduct after goaltender Martin Gerber was roughed up in the crease. Gerber came up swinging, but didn't get anything. Assistant coach Greg Carvel had to finish the game running the bench.

"I took a bad penalty. I apologized to them. I put them in a bad spot," said Murray. "It was a 2-1 game. We had a chance to win. We were getting all the chances. (Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien) Giguere was outstanding but we were playing well. I took a penalty and cost them the game.

"There's no question I should never do that.

"He didn't have to call the penalty on me. He saw the incident near the bench and gave (Fisher) the penalty. I was upset about it. I guess it's a totally different conference. If you put a stick on a guy or crosscheck a guy, it's normally called. I guess I didn't recognize it."

History might have been on the Senators side heading into the game, but the Ducks still became the first defending Cup champion to win the next regular-season rematch since Colorado Avalanche defeated New Jersey in 2001.

The Senators had their chances, but Giguere stood up to the challenge. He made a huge breakaway stop on Jason Spezza to open the third and then stoned Dany Heatley midway through.

"We played well after the first period," said Ottawa defenceman Wade Redden. "We had a lot of chances, but it was definitely a chippy game. They definitely let a lot go out there."

Gerber couldn't do much on goals by Corey Perry and Todd Bertuzzi as the Ducks got off to a fast start. Perry's goal was a tip on a shot from the point and Bertuzzi had a wide open net to finish off a 2-on-1 break.

As the Ducks continued to push, however, Gerber came up with a couple of big stops to keep Anaheim from pulling away. That allowed the Senators to catch their breath, and Schubert's shot from the blueline beat a screened Giguere low on the glove side to give the Senators some hope at 15:35.

Among his best saves, Gerber stopped Chris Kunitz on a breakaway and then got a measure of revenge with a big stop on Perry late in the second as the Senators hit their stride and settled the game down somewhat.

The game was very physical, as the Ducks picked up where they left off last spring by nailing the Senators every time they touched the puck and making the blueliners pay the price.

Defencemen Andrej Meszaros and Anton Volchenkov both left the game for brief periods in the first. Meszaros had to be helped off the ice after getting hit into the boards by Ducks' winger Travis Moen, but both returned for the second period.

The Senators four-game road swing continues tomorrow in San Jose.


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