Pens, Sens get physical

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

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

Patrick Eaves shook his hands and blinked 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 he didn't return to the game, with what was described as a "head injury," for precautionary reasons.

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

LET DEBATE BEGIN

But the debate has started as to whether Pittsburgh winger Colby Armstrong's hit on Eaves was clean.

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

"I thought it was a dirty hit," Ottawa centre Jason Spezza said of Armstrong's shot. "Anytime you see a guy leave his feet like that, you know he is up to something."

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

Even captain Daniel Alfredsson hit Armstrong along the boards in the third period as the Senators 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 wasn't complaining afterwards.

"I read all the articles when Chris Neil hit (the 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 continued, ''but we felt the same way when Neil hit Drury.

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


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