Senators Rock NBC prime-time

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:34 PM ET

BUFFALO — The Senators had a starring role on the hit NBC comedy 30 Rock Thursday night.

The Senators and Scotiabank Place were mentioned in the Tina Fey comedy at the start of the show when Danny, a Canadian actor played by Cheyenne Jackson, was congratulated by Pete (Scott Adsit) for receiving a Juno nomination.

Pete goes on to tell Frank (Judah Frielander) that the Junos are the equivalent to a “Canadian Grammy.” Danny then said he got the nomination for singing the Senators’ “psych-up” song during games at Scotiabank Place.

“The crowd is getting loud at Scotiabank Place. Make a hockey-lovin’ face at Scotiabank Place,” Danny is shown on the scoreboard singing with fans in the background.

None of the Ottawa players saw the episode, but by Friday they had heard about it.

“I’ve only watched a few episodes. I got a text from a friend saying that we were mentioned,” said Senators winger Jesse Winchester.

Phil Legault, the Senators VP of communications, said Friday he received an e-mail from the producers of 30 Rock through the NHL a couple of months ago indicating they were looking for a shot of the scoreboard and the crowd to use on the show.

Legault worked with Senators VP of broadcasting Jim Steel and director of game entertainment Glen Gower to help ensure the folks at NBC received the footage they required. It was shot just before the club’s 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 4.

Naturally, the club was excited about the exposure on prime-time TV south of the border.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase the game atmosphere at Scotiabank Place to a different audience in the U.S.,” said Senators president Cyril Leeder.

“We were pleased to hear that the writers of 30 Rock were aware of the great fans we have and that they would serve as an excellent backdrop to the clip.”

Mum on Kovie injury

There was no word Friday on when Alex Kovalev might return from the lower-body injury that forced him to miss Friday night’s game. He could be back Saturday against the Panthers, but coach Cory Clouston wasn’t shedding a lot of light on the situation, except to say the injury had been bothering Kovalev lately. “He’s possible (for Florida),” the coach said coyly. “I’m not going to say whether it’s affected his play or not, but obviously it has been bothering him for a while.” While Kovalev has been held pointless in 11 games since returning from the Olympic break, he is a big part of the Ottawa attack and had 18 points in 16 games leading up to the Olympics.

199 ... and waiting

Former Senators G Patrick Lalime needs only one more victory for 200 in his career. He has been stuck on 199 since he earned a victory over Pittsburgh on Dec. 29. He has since lost six starts in a row. “You play to win and whatever comes with it, that’s great,” said Lalime. “Getting to (200), that’s just gravy.”

Shannon’s back

With Alex Kovalev out, Ryan Shannon returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for two games. Before Friday night, he hadn’t scored in 21 games dating back to a Jan. 19 visit to Chicago.

around the boards

Binghamton callup Zack Smith dropped the gloves with Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta only 2:57 into the game ... The Sabres are trying a new tactic for the warmup. They allow the other team to skate for three minutes before they step on the ice. Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff tried it before a game against the Lightning and the Sabres went on a four-game winning streak before Friday night.

At the buzzer

Binghamton F Jonathan Cheechoo was suspended for two AHL games this weekend. He hit Toronto’s Simon Gysbers along the boards and caused him to take 15 stitches to the face.


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