Print and Go Back NHL Playoffs 2007 [Print without images]

Monday, June 4, 2007
Senators' McAmmond sits Game 4 after Pronger hit news services

OTTAWA -- Dean McAmmond wanted to play in Game 4, even saying he felt "pretty good, considering taking a pretty good shot to the chin."

But lingering effects from taking Chris Pronger's elbow to the head kept the Ottawa Senators forward out of the pivotal contest against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.

McAmmond was knocked out in the third period of Saturday night's 5-3 victory when Pronger flattened him with a straight elbow.

Although McAmmond hoped to get back in the lineup to help the Senators try to even the best-of-seven series, the Ducks knew they would be without Pronger -- their Norris Trophy finalist who was suspended for the hit.

McAmmond skated lightly Monday morning and rode the stationary bicycle. In just 24 hours there was marked improvement in his condition that was diagnosed as a concussion, the Senators said.

"I rode for about four or five minutes," McAmmond said of his activity Sunday. "Didn't feel quite comfortable in the head.

"I rode today, and I didn't have as much discomfort. Because of the whiplash ... I have a lot of stiffness in my neck and whatnot. It's kind of tough to differentiate the pain. You want to be careful to know exactly what it is you're feeling."

The Ducks are feeling the loss of Pronger for the second time in the playoffs, both due to one-game suspensions. He also sat out Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against Detroit for his high hit against the boards that bloodied Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom.

McAmmond lost consciousness on the ice and was woozy when he was helped to the dressing room in the third period Saturday. He didn't return to the game. Senators coach Bryan Murray said he would wait to hear from the team doctor in the afternoon before deciding if McAmmond was OK to play Monday night.

"Nothing would surprise me. It's playoffs. It's what happens," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "People make huge strides in their recoveries after suspensions. It's amazing."

McAmmond doesn't harbor ill feelings toward Pronger but felt the one-game ban the NHL gave the All-Star defenseman was necessary.

He didn't appreciate any suggestions from the Ducks that he might have played up the severity of his injury to cull a harsher punishment for Pronger.

"They can think what they want," McAmmond said. "If they want to speculate that, that's up to them really.

"You should kind of look at the hit and judge it by the flagrancy there and not matter if the guy is up the next minute or out a whole year."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.