Before the game the talk was split between Fisher's return and a milestone for Phillips but in the end it was the likeable Phillips that stole the headlines.
As the camera panned to Phillips in the third period, minutes after he scored his second goal of the night, and with the chants of "Phillips! " echoing through SBP, you could see just how much this night meant to him. Phillips is as nice a guy as you'll find in this league and to see him get rewarded on such an important night is a moment Sens fans won't soon forget.
Perhaps lost in the magic of the night, this is a huge win for the Ottawa Senators.
They came into this one having lost seven straight and desperately needed a W heading into the final date of this five game home stand on Saturday.
When Jason Spezza is playing well, the Sens are winning. It's that simple. Spezza scored twice in this one, and added an assist on a second period goal by Phillips. The line of Spezza, Michalek and Butler looked dangerous for most of the night and provided the home side with some much needed offence.
Michalek and Butler each picked up two assists.
Alex Auld started his first game of 2012 and backstopped the Sens to an important win. Auld was not tested a whole lot but made some important stops along the way. Will be interesting to see who MacLean goes to next time out.
With the win and a Leafs loss, the Senators now jump back ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for 7th in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa takes on the ridiculously hot Sam Gagner and his Edmonton Oilers teammates on Saturday afternoon.
- Kudos to Ottawa Senator fans for giving Mike Fisher an excellent ovation during a first period stoppage. Mike Fisher was one of the most liked players in the history of this franchise and he deserved the cheers he received. Fisher talked about the tribute after the game. "The team did a great job with the video. It was an emotional time - I almost wish I had a tinted visor."
- Bob McKenzie talked about Erik Karlsson contract talks and indicated that discussion between the two sides will begin either this week or next. McKenzie talked a little bit about how much Karlsson could get and suggested it will be somewhere between Letang ($3.5) and Doughty ($7.0). Early speculation has Karlsson landing in the neighbourhood of $5.0-$5.5 million a season.