Senators Watch

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 5:39 PM ET


 MAYBE THERE'S A PILL FOR THAT?

 In the midst of the muted celebration in the Ottawa Senators workout room late last night, there stood the team's biggest cheerleader, trying to catch his breath.

 Sens owner Eugene Melnyk, who also owns the OHL's St. Michael's Majors and is chairman of the board and CEO of Biovail Corp., appeared to be the most relieved man in the room after his club's 2-1 double-OT win over the Maple Leafs.

 "My dream for Game 7 is to be up by two or three goals going into the third period so I can put my feet up and relax and think about going on to the next series," Melnyk, a 44-year-old Toronto native, said. "This is very stressful."

 Melnyk has another reason to celebrate tomorrow. It's his wife Laura's birthday.

 SPEZZA SITS

 If the relationship between Senators coach Jacques Martin and centre Jason Spezza was not strained before last night, it's hard to see how it could not be today.

 With his club's season on the line, Martin decided Spezza was not good enough, making the 20-year-old a healthy scratch for the third time in the series.

 Spezza was fourth in team scoring during the season and was plus-22. He did not play in the final two games of the season because of injury but declared himself fit to play for the opening game against Toronto. But Spezza did not dress until Game 3, and registered no points in three starts. He did not get a ton of ice time when the teams were at even strength, a clear indication Martin was not overly happy with him.

 Spezza wasn't great when he got ice time, but some of the other offensive leaders who are supposed to help carry Ottawa weren't getting it done either.

 Antoine Vermette replaced Spezza in the lineup last night and his forechecking was instrumental on the winning goal by Mike Fisher.

 SENATORS INJURIES

 None.


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