Fisher feeling fine after finding the twine

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

Early in the day, Mike Fisher was philosophical in discussing his confounding slump.

"I know my job and what I have to do, and I have to focus on that," said the Senators centre, who had gone his first nine games without either a goal or assist. "If your mind is focused on zero points ... it's like golf, when you think about not hitting the ball in the water, you hit it in the water. I'm thinking about what I have to do. Points aren't all there is to my game. It's about contributing in all parts.

"I'm no different player than I ever was. I'm going to be better. It might take a bit of time, but I don't feel my game is that much different than it was."

Fisher's game was first star-worthy just a few hours later, as he made a sparkling pass to Dany Heatley that set up the Senators' first goal and then scored the second on a sweet pass from Daniel Alfredsson in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals.

When his assist was announced over the P.A. system, the crowd responded with an extra-loud roar. Fisher couldn't help but chuckle at the reaction.

"The guys were laughing on the bench," he said. "They asked me if I got the puck. Same with the goal. I should get it.

"Now you can laugh at it," Fisher added of the drought. "But I knew it was just a matter of time."

And getting over that little hump known as October.

STARTS AND STOPS

Back in his old Ottawa stomping grounds these days while Russia's Kontinental Hockey League takes a break is the one and only Ray Emery. Tending the goal for Mytishchi Atlant, the former Senator is 7-4-0 with a 2.18 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. As the best goalie in the loop, he's apparently been on the cover of Russia's Sports Illustrated, with Jaromir Jagr. Word is Emery's had numerous offers to return to the NHL, but has no plans to do so this year because he feels his Russian team has been too good to him ... Lucky for the Senators, they caught Alex Ovechkin on a night when the world's best player was merely good. Ovechkin, who missed two games last week to be with his ill grandfather in Russia, was held to four shots on goal and kept off the scoresheet. "He is in the same situation, he is still alive," the Caps winger said of his grandfather yesterday morning. "It's tough. It doesn't matter playing hockey or doing anything else for a living. It's tough when somebody that close to you, in the family, feels sick. I was very happy to go and stay with him. It was very important to me. My mind is on hockey right now. I know my grandfather feels the same. You never know what's going to happen, but I'm ready. I think about him all the time. Right now, I know he's okay." ... Heard my next-seat buddy in the press box mumble "two words" that best described the Senators' power play: "Path etic." During a 5-on-3 first-period advantage that covered 1:57, Heatley failed to deposit a rolling puck into a wide-open net, then had the only two shots on goal of the 117 seconds, neither of which were particularly dangerous. Perhaps out of exasperation, Senators coach Craig Hartsburg sent Jarkku Ruutu, Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov out to finish up the powerless play ... An exceptional defensive play was made by Phillips in overtime, turning Ovechkin away on a 1-on-1, then starting a rush up ice that almost resulted in a Senators goal. A minute later, his partner Volchenkov did a fine job to stay with Alexander Semin and block a shot that could have been dangerous. Volchenkov's hand/wrist will no doubt be pounding this morning ... Following the morning skate, Caps winger Matt Bradley received the typical media attention reserved for Ottawa-grown players when they return to Scotiabank Place. Upon finishing with the scrum, he was asked if he was going to have the team bus do a quick tour of his hometown of Stittsville, where the Bradley name is prominent on local business buildings. "We're already there," Bradley said with a grin. "We're having the pre-game at Jojo's Pizza (& Subs) tonight." He was probably kidding, but Jojo does make a tasty pie ... Had to like the gritty game played by rookie Jesse Winchester, especially the way he distracted Ovechkin. After one second-period gathering around the Caps net, the two players were chatting as they skated back to the benches when Ovechkin gave Winchester a little tap on the side of the head. The next shift, he wasn't nearly as friendly, levelling Winchester in the neutral zone while the latter was without the puck. The indiscretion earned Ovechkin an interference penalty, but did not dissuade him from other close encounters with Winchester later in the game.

BETWEEN PERIODS

Phillips is the only Senator wearing the ankle guards that cover the top part of the foot, similar to the piece of protection once worn by Ottawa D Janne Laukkanen. Phillips is comfortable in the original Max Pro Evolution. "I blocked a couple of shots that didn't feel so good," said Phillips. "I sort of pulled these out of the cupboard, and they've been working good." Why don't more players wear them? "I don't know," said Phillips. "You can throw that into the visor category." ... Semin stirred the pot recently with his assessment of Sid Crosby: "Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass," said Semin. "But there's nothing else." Yesterday, Ovechkin was asked about the remarks. "I know media guys want some action," he said. "You've got action right now." What did Caps coach Bruce Boudreau think when he saw Semin's words? "It's the first time I heard him quoted in four years as a Washington Capital," said Boudreau. "I'm glad to think he's opening up, but if he's opening up with those comments, I hope he doesn't open up too much more."


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