Sens shoot from the lip

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Chris Neil and Bryan Murray went Duck hunting even before last night's Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final.

The Ottawa Senators' tough guy and coach were both unhappy that Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke suggested that defenceman Chris Pronger shouldn't have been the only one suspended for an illegal hit in Saturday's Game 3.

Neil accused Pronger of being a backstabber, while Murray said Ducks winger Corey Perry head hunts every shift.

"I'm not worried about it," Neil said. "I go out and I play hard between the whistles and stuff. I don't go out and stab a guy in the back after the whistle like Pronger does.

"The officials are aware of that. You go out and you play hard between the whistles. If something happens, you take care of it. That's the way I play and that's the way I've always played. (Pronger has) been suspended for numerous incidents. I haven't. So, figure it out."

Pronger was suspended for last night's game because of an elbow to the head of Senators centre Dean McAmmond. Burke tried to get NHL vice-president Colin Campbell to review a Neil hit on Andy McDonald.

Neil laughed off suggestions by Burke that he elbowed McDonald to the head and suggested the GM was just looking for an excuse.

"I think (Burke) saw me leaving the rink and I was the last person he saw so I was fresh in his mind," Neil said. "(Burke) does a very good job of (trying to bring attention to Neil) and that's his job to do that."

That's when Murray said Perry is a dirty player and Burke was just looking for a smokescreen to let Pronger off for his stupid act.

"(Burke) did a great job of giving you guys a story. He did a great job of camouflaging what was the real point," Murray said. "Everybody has looked at the hit now, (McDonald) spun, he got hit in the helmet with his forearm.

"I've got two other incidents of Pronger hitting guys to the head and Corey Perry never hits anybody without going for the head. There are lots of stories in this, but (Burke) did a job and sold lots of newspapers for you and gave you an easy afternoon on Sunday, which you had to have and that's good."

The Ducks didn't want to react to either accusation.

"That's just childish," Anaheim winger Ryan Getzlaf said.

Neil said the hit on McDonald was clean.

"A couple of the guys were giving me a hard time in the dressing room," Neil said. "The difference is I went in with my elbows down. McDonald sees me and he just falls. I didn't hit him as good as everyone thought I hit him. He just kind of bails on the whole situation. That's not my fault.

"I always chuckle when I hear those things. If they're coming after me, I know I'm doing my job."

ON THE MEND

McAmmond took a bike ride and skate yesterday, but wasn't healthy enough to play last night. The possibility exists that McAmmond could be out the rest of the series, but he hopes not.

"I actually feel pretty good," said McAmmond, who consulted with club doctors. McAmmond said he watched a replay of the hit and felt a one-game suspension was sufficient.

"The one game was necessary because it was an elbow to the head," McAmmond said. "You have to go by the foul or the incident alone and make it strict enough that it will keep guys from raising their elbows."

The possibility McAmmond may have played gave Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle a chance to fire a verbal shot.

"Nothing would surprise me. It's the playoffs. It's what happens. People make huge strides in their recovery after suspensions. It's amazing," Carlyle said.


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