by Todd Anderson
For just the third time this season the Ottawa Senators will play on both days this weekend. Head coach Bryan Murray gave his team a complete day off today to ensure they're rested for matches against the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow at Scotiabank Place and on Sunday in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.
After a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders last night, the coach is pleased with the club's performance heading into the weekend.
"I liked the game," Murray said during his post-game conference last night. "I liked the fact we played the way we did. I thought we played well fairly early but didn't score or shoot as well as I might like, but then we rallied so quickly at the start of the third it was just a matter of playing the game out at that point."
The third period featured a Senators club record for fastest three goals - Chris Neil, Dean McAmmond and Jason Spezza scored in a 1:16 span. Joe Corvo and Chris Kelly also scored for Ottawa in the second period. In total, 10 different Senators had points on Thursday.
"Very definitely to win in this league you need a variety of guys to do some scoring," Murray says. "We need some balance. That third line and the fourth line worked real hard and I was happy for them to contribute and to get recognized by getting some points."
Pink stick campaign returns
NHL teams are participating in the second annual Tribute to Hockey Moms from March 16 to 18 and, once again, the Ottawa Senators will take part in the fundraiser to help fight breast cancer. The Senators will be using pink sticks during the morning skate, pre-game warm up and in the game against Philadelphia tomorrow.
Afterwards, the sticks will be autographed by the players and auctioned off with proceeds being donated to cancer research through the NHL/NHLPA's Hockey Fights Cancer program and its Canadian charity partner, the Canadian Cancer Society. Last year's inaugural campaign raised more than $150,000 US.
Ottawa Senators forward Mike Comrie is proud to take part in the campaign.
"Losing my mom to breast cancer was the hardest thing. Over the years, I've scored what I thought were big goals, but to score a goal last year using the pink stick for my mom will always be the greatest for me."
For more details, visit the pink stick section of www.tpshockey.com.