In-Sensed by hit on Eaves

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:57 PM ET

PITTSBURGH -- This series between the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins is turning into a war.

Following a punishing shoulder-to-head hit by Penguins’ Colby Armstrong in the second period, Patrick Eaves was flexing his hands and blinking his eyes as he was taken off on a stretcher in the second period last night at Mellon Arena.

The Senators winger was able to avoid a trip to the hospital but, for precautionary reasons, he didn’t return to the game after suffering a concussion on the play.

Eaves was walking around the dressing room after the Senators’ 4-2 victory and was apparently feeling fine.

Debate begins

But the debate has already started as to whether Armstrong’s hit on Eaves was clean.

Eaves was being pursued as he skated out from behind the Penguins net. Armstrong cruised in from the slot and buried his shoulder into Eaves, who momentarily had lowered his head.

Armstrong was not assessed a penalty, but that didn’t matter to Sens centre Jason Spezza.

"I thought it was a dirty hit," Spezza said. "Anytime you see a guy leave his feet like that, you know he is up to something."

Armstrong, who ran Ottawa goalie Ray Emery during Pittsburgh’s 4-3 win on Saturday at Scotiabank Place, now has a target on his back.

Even Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson got into act, rubbing him out along the dasherboard in the third period as the visitors tried to send a message to the Penguins winger, who made a similar hit on Montreal’s Saku Koivu in February.

But Senators coach Bryan Murray was not among those complaining afterwards.

"I read all the articles when Chris Neil hit (Sabres’) Chris Drury (in February) and it was the same type of hit," he said. "It was a kid trying to make contact. (Eaves) had his head down a little bit. He got driven with the shoulder. That’s part of hockey.

"I feel bad with (Eaves) getting hurt the way he did and I know you’ll write extensive articles about how tough Armstrong was and how that shouldn’t be allowed,”Murray said.

"But we felt the same way when Neil hit Drury.

"It was a fair hit, a hockey hit and we live with it accordingly."

The Penguins, meanwhile, were also incensed with what they considered to be a late hit from behind by Christoph Schubert on defenceman Rob Scuderi.


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