Kovalev nets 1,000th point

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

OTTAWA - On Milestone Monday, Alex Kovalev dramatically worked his way into the action.

Less than four minutes after it looked like he might be sidelined for the night, or longer, by a questionable Ryan Smyth check, Kovalev one-timed a puck with enough force to break his stick and get past Jonathan Quick.

The goal, his sixth of the season, was also the 1000th point of Kovalev's career.

Talk about coincidence -- point No. 1,000 came at 10:00. Most of the Scotiabank Place crowd didn't realize the milestone until told by P.A. announcer Stuntman Stu, at which point Kovalev was given a standing ovation. 

Kovalev responded by rising at the bench, lifting his arm and blowing a kiss of appreciation to the fans. Ah yes, it was a moment of beauty. Or something like that. 

Asked during the first intermission by Sportsnet's Ian Mendes about picking up a helper along with Sergei Gonchar on the historic marker, Chris Phillips flexed his wit.

"I think everyone will remember the second assist on that one ... it'll go down in the books," said Phillips. "It was fun to be a part of it. To see a guy achieve that milestone is pretty amazing."

Also celebrating career moments on Milestone Monday were Milan Michalek, who scored in his 400th NHL game, as well as Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Neil, who were both playing their 600th.

Neil marked the occasion in typical Neil fashion, scoring a win, with an active left puncher, over big Kevin Westgarth in a second-period fight. On his way to the box, he gave his trademark get-up-and-cheer wave to different sections of the stands. That earned No. 25 a standing 'O,' too.

Neil would not return, suffering an upper-body injury in the scrap. It was the lone black mark -- and only time will tell how deep -- on an otherwise great night for the Senators.

Along with giving fans a thrilling game to remember, they chalked up a huge victory against a very good team. The trick now is for them to make it a milestone win by building off it like they should.

STARTS AND STOPS

All you people bad-mouthing Jason Spezza for that giveaway leading directly to L.A.'s first goal should consider that maybe Spezza was just trying to show what kind of chemistry he would have had with Anze Kopitar had the Senators picked him in the 2005 entry draft instead of Brian Lee, who was selected two spots ahead of the Kings star ... Erik Karlsson wasn't too keen about being a healthy scratch much. "No, I don't think so," Karlsson said when asked after the morning skate if he might learn something watching from the pressbox. "Obviously, sometimes, but you still want to play. I think you learn more on the ice than you do off the ice. It's a decision I respect." 

THINGS I THINK I THINK

Doesn't it seem like whenever the Senators are in a rut, Chris Kelly is moved from third-line centre to first-line left wing? "The answer?" Kelly said, repeating a reporter. "I'm not the answer. Don't call me the answer, or next year I'll be playing in Europe with Allen (The Answer) Iverson." ... You had to know Spezza wanted to make up for the first-period gaffe. The play he made on the winner ranks up there with his undressing of Sheldon Souray a few years ago ... Biggest save of the Senators' season thus far: Pascal Leclaire's quick leg stop off Brad Richardson in the third.

BETWEEN PERIODS

The day did not start out so good for Senators assistant GM Tim Murray. Travelling from Shawville to Ottawa, he was on the Quyon ferry when he noticed an acquaintance and got out of his vehicle to chat. When he tried to get back in, he realized the doors were locked. "I can't even lock them when I try," Murray said later. He had to get a lift to the dealership in Kanata to grab an extra set of keys. Couple of hours later, Murray was back to pick up his ride. It had been busy in his absence. "Cost me $247 (for) 25 trips, back and forth," he joked. At least we think he was joking. "By 1:30 p.m., I was the sourest (guy) in the Valley," he said. That part is quite believable ... Spezza was giving it to Chris Campoli the other day for believing the Sidney Crosby video ("Sid tests Reebok stick") that's on NHL.com. The clip has Crosby shooting at a pyramid of pucks sitting on the boards at the Consol Energy Center. He picks a couple off, then takes a slapshot that breaks up the pile. One puck separates from the bunch and is rolling along the boards when Crosby fires a shot that incredibly hits IT, knocking it to the floor. Spezza contends the footage was doctored, as do others. Campoli isn't so sure. "It's not real, eh?" he asked. "It's pretty cool. It's probably not real. I just wanted to believe it was. The kid in me, I guess." ... An early happy birthday to Rhoda Murray, the mother of Bryan and Terry and the rest of the Shawville clan. She turns 91 Wednesday.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMM

"Coming up Dec. 2," Stuntman Stu announced in the second period, "the San Jose Sharks are in town." The good folks can't wait to see you, Dany Heatley ... How is it that some guy named Dwight King was the Kings' first-line left winger when Luc Robitaille was in the house? Lucky Luc still looks like he should be playing ... Even Senators fans in the building had to believe their team got away with one in the first period when Matt Carkner, while sliding by his own net, pulled the post off its moorings just before Wayne Simmonds fired the puck into the empty net. The goal was disallowed, leading one to wonder why more defencemen don't use that tactic ... Odd enough some guy in the crowd was wearing a Steve Stamkos jersey to an Ottawa-L.A. game. But what's the guy in the Brett Favre jersey thinking? ... Justin Williams would have had an empty net to score the game-tying goal with 10 seconds left had the puck not bounced over his stick. IT'S A HIT

Did Ryan Smyth stick his leg out to upend Alex Kovalev inside the Kings' blue line in the first? Was it a dirty hit? The refs didn't see it that way. You?

SAY WHAT?

"I just saw it on the replay. It looked good to me." -- Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, on his team's disallowed goal with three seconds left.


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