|Ripped jersey forces Spezza to make quick adjustment|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 02 June 2007 19:20|
That was Jason Spezza wearing Eaves' No. 44 jersey - however briefly in the second period of Ottawa's 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.
Spezza had his No. 19 jersey torn during a scuffle with Anaheim's Samuel Pahlsson in front of the Ottawa bench. The two players were penalized, and Senators' Mike Comrie went to the box to begin serving Spezza's holding penalty.
That's because Spezza went to the dressing room because of his ``equipment malfunction.''
``It was ripped down the middle so they had to stitch it up but it took a little while so I had to throw Patty's jersey on,'' said Spezza, who skated to the penalty box with his teammate's jersey, including ``Eaves'' across his back.
Spezza jumped on the ice after serving the rest of the penalty and played briefly before returning to the bench and switching back to his repaired jersey.
``It would have been nice to scored with Patty's jersey on,'' Spezza said.
Eaves was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
Spezza was held without a point for the second consecutive game, the first time that's happened since Oct. 12-14, 2006.
BLACKED OUT IN BIG EASY: Hockey fans in New Orleans were shut out from watching Game 3.
NBC affiliate WDSU elected to broadcast ``The Children's Miracle Network'' fundraiser instead.
Numerous bars across the city received requests from disgruntled hockey fans, who couldn't find the game. Trouble was, many of the bars couldn't find it either, even some with satellite dishes.
WDSU had no comment because a programming director was not available.
Although New Orleans is not considered a traditional hockey market, it's the latest blow to the NHL's attempt to expand its market. NBC dropped its coverage of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals between Ottawa and Buffalo just as the game was going into overtime to instead broadcast the Preakness Stakes.
The end of Ottawa's 3-2 victory was broadcast instead on Versus, the league's main cable rightsholder that reaches far fewer homes than NBC.
SID THE KID HONORED: What a week for Sidney Crosby.
First, he became the Pittsburgh Penguins' captain. Then he got to meet members of the Montreal Canadiens' teams that won five straight Stanley Cup titles in the 1950s. And on Saturday, former Canadiens star Henri Richard presented Crosby with the Art Ross Trophy for leading the NHL in scoring with 120 points.
As nice as the award was, Crosby was struck by meeting the Montreal greats, especially considering he grew up rooting for the Canadiens.
``Here I am talking about trying to win one Stanley Cup and those guys have 10 or 11,'' Crosby said. ``It doesn't seem fair.''
The NHL presented three other awards during a luncheon.
Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier won the Maurice Richard Trophy, for leading the league with 52 goals. Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom and Manny Fernandez shared the William M. Jennings Trophy for helping the Wild allow a league-low 191 goals. Backstrom also won the Roger Crozier award for his league-leading 92.9 save percentage.
NEIL'S NEW ADDITION: Senators' gritty forward Chris Neil was all smiles after the morning skate, celebrating the birth of his first child. His daughter, Hayley Jean, was born Friday at 11:05 p.m. weighing in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces.
``It was an exciting day,'' said Neil, who missed practice after his wife Caitlin had the birth induced. ``Watching her being born, you can't have words for it. It's amazing. It's a miracle.''
Neil was relieved the birth - the due date was June 19 - didn't occur during a the day of a game or when the Senators were out of town.
Neil showed he was ready to play by scoring Ottawa's first goal to tie the game with 4 minutes left in the first period.
``It was like a roller coaster ride,'' he said. ``I'm fortunate to have two exciting things going on my life at the same time. It's hard to juggle them, but I'm able to do it. And my wife's made it very capable for me to do that. ... She's been very supportive of it. She's been a real trouper.''
PRICEY ADVICE: Teemu Selanne isn't interested in taking a cut in pay. That's the excuse the Ducks star forward gave in electing not speculate on which line Chris Kunitz would play if the injured left wing returns to the lineup for Game 3.
Referring to coach Randy Carlyle, Selanne quipped: ``Carlyle always says that when I start thinking about those things, I have to take a pay cut, I have to take a coach's salary. So you can ask him. He tells me that every day.''
Kunitz played alongside Selanne and Andy McDonald on the Ducks' top line before breaking a bone in his right hand against Detroit on May 11 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Kunitz's return was short-lived after he left the game after hurting his left leg early in the second period.
ICE CHIPS: The Ducks had a five-game win streak snapped, falling short of matching a playoff record set twice, last year and in 2003. ... The Ducks dropped to 13-1 this postseason when scoring two or more goals, and 9-2 when scoring first. ... The Senators improved their franchise playoff record to 49-48.
AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this report.