- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 15, 2011

It was hard to miss the pain Sergei Gonchar was in. The Senators and ex-Capitals defenseman had just taken a shot to the right foot from Matt Hendricks with 2:25 left in the first period and skated gingerly until he was able to get to the bench, where he doubled over.

Gonchar didn’t take another shift, leaving with a bruised foot.

“It’s a bruise right now, so it’s going to be one of those day-to-day [things] depending on the pain threshold,” Senators coach Paul MacLean said afterward.

Gonchar, who is in the second season of a three-year, $16.5 million contract, played in Washington from 1995 to 2004. He was an All-Star three times with the Caps and was dealt away for Shaone Morrisonn and two 2004 draft picks, one of which turned into Jeff Schultz.

On this night, Gonchar’s injury — not a broken foot, he told Sport-Express’ Slava Malamud — forced the Senators to roll five defensemen. But Ottawa kept the Caps off the scoreboard the rest of the game.

“I think they did a great job as a group of five,” MacLean said, “and I think the forwards did a great job of helping out their defense tonight.”

Senators bounce back

Caps players and coach Bruce Boudreau talked about the Senators being a motivated team after getting thumped 7-1 by the Avalanche on Thursday night. And while Ottawa left Verizon center with no points, the game against the Caps signified progress.

“I thought we deserved a way better fate with the way we played,” MacLean said.

Added captain Daniel Alfredsson: “After what happened at home against Colorado, we had to have a bounce-back game in the sense that we do the little things right, we stick to the plan and we execute. And we did that tonight against a tough team on the road, so that’s really encouraging for us.