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Old 01-20-2008, 01:54 PM   #323
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Default Downie unfazed about facing Senators


Steve Downie will be front and centre as the Philadelphia Flyers host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.

Downie will be facing the Senators for the first time since he levelled Ottawa forward Dean McAmmond in a pre-season game. Downie incurred a 20-game suspension for the illegal hit, delaying his NHL regular season debut until December.

Steve Downie of the Flyers says Sunday's contest against Ottawa is 'just another game.'Steve Downie of the Flyers says Sunday's contest against Ottawa is 'just another game.'
(Jonathan Hayward/ Canadian Press)

The Newmarket, Ont., native said he didn't think the Ottawa matchup warranted any special attention.

"It's just another game and we need the two points," he said. "I'm not worried at all. It's behind me and I'm leaving it there."

Downie has been a presence in most of the 10 games he has played, scoring three goals and four assists, including in Philadelphia's 5-3 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Despite the stern message from the NHL for the McAmmond hit, Downie has found himself in the spotlight for two other incidents. The rookie hit Jason Blake with a punch while the Toronto Maple Leafs player was restrained by an official and he decked Florida's Rostislav Olesz with a hit just after the whistle, resulting in hand surgery for the Panther defenceman.
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Ottawa enforcer Brian McGrattan said in September Downie would eventually pay for his hit on McAmmond but has since tempered his comments.

"If [Downie] is there and he has the puck, I'm going to hit him. I'm not going to jump him from behind and cause a huge melee," McGrattan told the Ottawa Sun. "I don't think we really need that."

Scott Hartnell scored three power-play goals and added an assist in Philadelphia's win on Saturday, with Mike Richards adding a goal and an assist.

Philadelphia (25-15-5) has moved past Montreal as the league's most potent power play. The Flyers have won three straight games, and are 9-1-1 in their last 11.

Ottawa (30-13-4) has lost three of the last four since Dany Heatley went down with a separated shoulder.

Captain Daniel Alfredsson is questionable for Sunday's game due to a hip flexor injury.

Without Heatley and Alfredsson, the Senators failed to hit the mark with 25 shots on Tampa Bay's Johan Holmqvist in Saturday night's home game.

Ray Emery made 24 saves in a losing effort for Ottawa.

Rookie centre Cody Bass was inserted into the lineup on Saturday but played just over two minutes.

Sunday's game is the first of three straight on the road, continuing Tuesday against Florida.
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