Senators defenseman Phillips to play 1,000th game

by Erin Nicks /
KANATA, Ont. -- Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who will play in his 1,000th game on Thursday, insists it's just another day at the office.

"Once you're into the game, it's all business and we're trying to get back to our winning ways," he said. "I'm very proud of it -- it's a lot of games, and to do it all with one team makes it a little bit sweeter, for sure."

Phillips, the No. 1 pick in the 1996 Entry Draft, has made it through the long haul in Ottawa.

"There was talk early on of being trade bait, possibly being moved," he said. "And later on, I've had the opportunity of maybe moving on, but I'm certainly glad that everything worked and nothing happened, and I was able to continue to help this team out and have this night tonight.

"I think my role is more defined after that long being a defensive player, and priding myself on that. I came in as playing power play and putting some points up in junior, but that's definitely changed over the years. No matter what's been asked on the ice, it;s fun."

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who celebrated his 1,000th game earlier in the season, knows what Phillips is going through.

"I played on the road, which I think was a little bit easier," he said.  "Here, we're at home, there's more distractions. But you just gotta go with the flow. We know it will be nerve-wracking for him, being here and anticipating the game. Once you get to the rink and get into your routine and that kind of settles you down. But we're going to be sure it's fun to join him in this game tonight, and hopefully we can get a win for him."