PAUL MACLEAN was fired yesterday as coach of the Ottawa Senators, less than 18 months since he was the NHL's coach of the year.

The coaching dismissal was the first in the NHL this season and comes with the team off to an 11-11-5 start. Team executives had problems with MacLean dating to last season when the Senators missed the playoffs.

Assistant Dave Cameron is the new coach, general manager Bryan Murray said at a news conference. Cameron has never been an NHL head coach and his first game behind the bench will be at home Thursday against the defending champion Los Angeles Kings.

"I've had some tough days lately," said Murray, who is undergoing cancer treatment. "This is one of them."

Murray said there was an "uneasiness" in the locker room.

"Some of the better players felt that they were singled out a little too often maybe," he said. "That's today's athlete. They want to be corrected, coached, given a chance to play without being the center point of discussion in the room."

In parts of four seasons the Senators went 114-90-35 under MacLean.

In other news:

* The NHL suspended Winnipeg forward Evander Kane for two games for boarding Anaheim defenseman Clayton Stoner on on Sunday.

In last night's games

* At New York, Kevin Klein, bloodied earlier by a high stick to the ear, ripped in a slap shot 3:45 into overtime to give the Rangers a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins . . . At Raleigh, N.C., Jaromir Jagr had a goal and an assist in his 1,500th NHL game, and the New Jersey Devils defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1 . . . At St. Louis, Martin Brodeur made 32 saves as the Blues defeated Florida, 4-2.