Chris Phillips wasn't acting his age.

The Senators defenceman celebrated his 35th birthday Saturday early by spending 19 minutes in the penalty box Friday night after getting in a fight with Rangers winger Michael Haley.

It was only the sixth fight of Phillips' career, but he felt he had to step up to defend forward Jim O'Brien after he was hit by Haley.

"He had a good head of speed going," said Phillips, who added he didn't feel he should have gotten an instigator penalty.

"Whether it was a charge or not, (Haley) was trying to get O'Brien pretty good. After what's gone on the last couple of games and in Philly (last week), I thought that was the appropriate thing to do."