A man is in critical condition after having a heart attack at Thursday night's Ottawa Senators game.

Ottawa paramedics said it happened to a 71-year-old man just after 7 p.m. Thursday inside the main entrance to the arena.

An ex-paramedic from the Canadian Armed Forces and his daughter were performing CPR by the time on-site paramedics arrived.

"It happened pretty quickly as soon as we got in the building," said Jacques Noel.

"I would say we got him back once, he started breathing again so we stopped doing chest compressions and then he just went again," Melissa Noel said. "We just kept going until the paramedics arrived and the firefighters also."

Paramedics said they took over, using a defibrillator and cardiac medications to help him regain a pulse on the way to hospital.

He remains in critical condition.

This happened just as the Senators' game against the Florida Panthers began, slowing their arrival on scene.

"It only took us about two to three minutes to get to that gentleman when we found out he had collapsed," said J.P. Trottier of the Ottawa Paramedics. " It's extremely important and increases the survival rates if CPR is started immediately."

After the man went to hospital, the Noels went to watch the game when they discovered their tickets they had bought online were fake.

The Ottawa Senators then gave them a free pair of 100-level tickets for their efforts.

Paramedics said they want to recognize the two bystanders, staff at Scotiabank Place and an off-duty firefighter who also helped for their assistance.