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Posted On Wednesday, 01.30.2013 / 11:19 AM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Senators' Spezza out against Canadiens

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators' top center, Jason Spezza, will miss his second straight game Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens.

Spezza, who has been sidelined with an upper-body injury, is still being evaluated, according to coach Paul MacLean. The injury occurred sometime during Ottawa's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. MacLean did not know whether Spezza would be absent for a significant period of time.

MacLean will start Kyle Turris at center, alongside Spezza's regular left wing, Milan Michalek. Daniel Alfredsson will play right wing on that line.

The Senators were victorious against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night without Spezza in the lineup, but his absence is being felt in the dressing room and the team has been required to make adjustments.

"It's a big void out there; Spezza plays a lot of minutes for us and he's big on the faceoff," Chris Neil said. "But it's another opportunity for other guys to step up. It makes us more of a four-line team. We can roll all four, and we've got the confidence to put our third or fourth line out against their top two lines to get the job. It has to be a group effort in here."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 12:50 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Capitals, Senators

OTTAWA -- Here are the projected lineups the Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators likely will go with Tuesday when they play at Scotiabank Place:

CAPITALS

Alex Ovechkin - Jay Beagle - Joey Crabb

Wojtek Wolski - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera - Mike Ribeiro - Joel Ward

Matt Hendricks - Mathieu Perreault - Eric Fehr

Karl Alzner - Mike Green

John Erskine - John Carlson

Jeff Schultz - Tomas Kundratek

Michal Neuvirth

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Tom Poti, Roman Hamrlik, Marcus Johansson

Injured: Brooks Laich, Jack Hillen

Laich joined the team Monday, and is expected to skate with the Capitals for the first time this season on Tuesday.

SENATORS

Guillaume Latendresse - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson

Milan Michalek - Peter Regin - Jakob Silfverberg

Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Jim O'Brien - Mika Zibanejad - Erik Condra

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Sergei Gonchar - Mark Borowiecki

Patrick Wiercioch - Chris Phillips

Craig Anderson

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Andre Benoit, Kaspars Daugavins

Injured: Jason Spezza

Spezza will sit out with an upper-body injury sustained in Sunday's game against the Penguins.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 11:28 AM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Spezza sidelined vs. Capitals with upper-body injury

OTTAWA -- Jason Spezza will not play against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night due to an upper-body injury.

The Ottawa Senators' top center was absent from practice Monday and Tuesday. According to coach Paul MacLean, Spezza was injured during Ottawa's game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. MacLean also said he didn't know if Spezza would be available for the Senators' next game, against Montreal on Wednesday.

Peter Regin will take Spezza's spot in the lineup, flanked by Milan Michalek and Jakob Silfverberg.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.27.2013 / 2:43 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Penguins, Senators

OTTAWA – Here are the projected lineups for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators on Sunday evening at Scotiabank Place. Because of the 5 p.m. start, the Senators did not practice, but the Penguins held an optional skate.

PENGUINS

Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

Tyler KennedyEvgeni MalkinJames Neal

Dustin JeffreyBrandon SutterMatt Cooke

Eric TangradiJoe VitaleCraig Adams

Brooks OrpikPaul Martin

Matt NiskanenKris Letang

Deryk EngellandBen Lovejoy

Marc-Andre Fleury

Tomas Vokoun

Tanner Glass went hard into the boards during the Penguins’ game against Winnipeg on Friday, and was held out of practice in Ottawa on Saturday. Jeffrey, who has been a healthy scratch for the past three games, took his place in the lineup. Glass participated in the optional skate on Sunday, so his status may be a game time decision.

Scratches: Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres

SENATORS

Milan MichalekJason SpezzaJakob Silfverberg

Zack SmithKyle TurrisDaniel Alfredsson

Colin GreeningPeter ReginChris Neil

Kaspars Daugavins – Jim O’Brien – Erik Condra

Marc MethotErik Karlsson

Chris PhillipsSergei Gonchar

Mark BorowieckiAndre Benoit

Craig Anderson

Ben Bishop

Injured: Guillaume Latendresse

Scratches: Patrick Wiercioch

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Posted On Monday, 01.21.2013 / 12:31 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Panthers, Senators

OTTAWA -- Here are the projected lineups for the Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators on Monday night at Scotiabank Place:

PANTHERS

Tomas FleischmannStephen WeissScottie Upshall

Jonathan HuberdeauPeter MuellerAlex Kovalev

Tomas KopeckyShawn MatthiasMike Santorelli

Jack SkilleJerred SmithsonGeorge Parros

Filip KubaBrian Campbell

Ed JovanovskiKeaton Ellerby

Dmitry KulikovMike Weaver

Jose Theodore

Scott Clemmensen

Injured: Kris Versteeg, Marcel Goc, Sean Bergenheim, Erik Gubranson

Scratches: Michael Caruso, Tyson Strachan

SENATORS

Milan MichalekJason SpezzaJakob Silfverberg

Guillaume LatendresseKyle TurrisDaniel Alfredsson

Colin GreeningZack SmithChris Neil

Peter ReginJim O'BrienErik Condra

Marc MethotErik Karlsson

Chris Phillips – Sergei Gonchar

Patrick WierciochAndre Benoit

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Injured: Jared Cowen, Mike Lundin

Scratches: Mark Borowiecki, Kaspars Daugavins, Ben Bishop

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.25.2012 / 2:04 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Senators hope for road-ice advantage in Game 7

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators held their final practice on home ice Wednesday morning before departing for New York. The Senators square off against the New York Rangers for Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series on Thursday night (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

The Senators did not skate any lines, but Daniel Alfredsson was seen running power play drills with Kyle Turris, Chris Neil, Sergei Gonchar and Chris Phillips. Matt Carkner and Zenon Konopka were absent from practice. Coach Paul MacLean said that both were taking "maintenance days." On Tuesday, Konopka was seen moving gingerly around the halls of Scotiabank Place. Mark Borowiecki and Mark Stone participated in the skate, and MacLean said that Borowiecki would be making the trip to Manhattan with the team.

Heading into Game 7, the Sens are hoping to get a boost from the visiting building. Ottawa won both of its regular-season games at Madison Square Garden, and has taken two out of three games in this series on the road.

"We've played well there, there's no question," Alfredsson said. "I think overall during the year, we've been better on the road than we have at home for whatever reason. But Game 7 is Game 7, and getting off to a good start is important. That will be our focus."

Erik Karlsson only has one point in this series -- a goal scored in Game 2 -- and the defenseman admitted the matchup has been frustrating for him at times.

"[It's been] a little bit [frustrating]," Karlsson said. "[The Rangers] are a good team and that's why they won the Eastern Conference. They've got really good goaltending and it's been tough for us. But I think we've done a good job in what we've [accomplished] so far. Obviously I want to do things offensively, but if I have to do something else to help the team win, whether it's throwing hits, blocking shots or playing [well] defensively, you do what you have to. Offensively, right now, it's tough."

Added MacLean: "I don't think [Erik] needs to do more. We just need [Karlsson] to be [Karlsson]. When [Erik] skates, that's obviously when he's at his best. He hasn't skated the way that we needed him to skate, and on [Thursday] we need him to use his skill as a skater to create offense. He's going to be a target on our team and he has to come up with ways to counteract that."
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.24.2012 / 4:00 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

No qualms from Sens' stars about benching

OTTAWA -- The Senators held an optional practice Tuesday afternoon, but the rink remained dark as players milled in the hallways, kicking soccer balls and getting some rest before Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the New York Rangers on Thursday.

More fallout from the benching of Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson at the beginning of the third period was the hot topic on Tuesday. Both Spezza and Alfredsson (who lost his temper on the bench) had discussions with coach Paul MacLean after the game.

"I think the conversations a lot of the times [with Spezza] are 'skate through the middle of the rink and shoot the puck,'" MacLean said. "We're not disappointed in any way with the way that Jason has played. This is a playoff series where every night the other team makes it hard for you to do things. You've got to stick to it. Those are the conversations that we have."

Added Spezza: "There's no issue between [MacLean and myself] whatsoever. I really like how he coaches the game. That's not saying that I disagree sometimes with how he does things. I want to be on the ice at all times. At times, emotions can come out. But I really enjoy Paul as a coach. I think he's done a phenomenal job."

When asked about his lack of ice time in the third, Spezza's response was short and to the point.

"If there was a message sent, it was received," he said.

After saying Monday night that he would discuss Alfredsson's behavior on the bench with his captain -- the Swede was seen smashing his stick and stomping on water bottles after coming off the ice from a shift -- the coach admitted he had indeed spoken to the team leader about his outburst.

"[Alfredsson and I] had a good conversation about it -- about frustration and how it limits your focus," MacLean said. "He's frustrated. He got hit -- a little quasi-from-the-backside when he's killing the penalty, and I think coming off the injury that he had was part of the frustration he had. You get hit in that vulnerable position after coming back (from a concussion). That kind of led to it."

"[Monday] was frustrating," Alfredsson added. "I thought I had control of it, then I went out on the penalty kill and [John Mitchell] made a pretty good lick on me. I [didn't] see him at all until the last second. Then I [lost] it pretty much. I was mad at myself for not being able to see him. I felt pretty bad for a bit. I know I have to refocus. I don't send a good message to the team by doing that."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.24.2012 / 3:25 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Alfredsson 'honored and humbled' by Masterton nod

OTTAWA -- After coming off back surgery at the end of a disappointing 2010-11 season, the future of Daniel Alfredsson’s NHL career was left in doubt.

However, the Ottawa Senators captain battled back with a renaissance year, and on Tuesday was announced as a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, along with Joffrey Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Max Pacioretty of Montreal Canadiens. The Trophy is awarded to "the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

"I'm honored and humbled," Alfredsson said. "It feels really good to come back and play, especially after a frustrating couple of years. The doctors did a great job with my surgery. I got much better this year and I'm having more fun playing. I put a lot of work in, rehabbing and getting ready, and I'm so happy with the success we've had this year. It's been a great group to be a part of and a lot of fun."

Alfredsson's surgery gave him a new lease on life in the League, and the captain has taken advantage. He had 27 goals -- including the 400th of his career -- 59 points and a plus-16 rating, recorded his 1,000th point and was named an All-Star captain.

"Once I had the surgery [in June], even the same day I felt better," Alfredsson said. "That was really encouraging. It was fun to work out again, instead of being limited to what you can do in the gym. It's been hard, but it's been good."

The revitalized leader lit a fire under his team, and for the Sens -- who were not expected to make waves this season -- their captain's perseverance provided a great amount of motivation.

"[Alfredsson's] a class act," goalie Craig Anderson said. "He's our captain, he's our leader. He's very emotional about the team; very emotional about himself. He wants to perform at his best at all times and we want to stand alongside him. His passion for the game is second to none."

Added Jason Spezza: "Coming off back surgery at that age is an accomplishment, and he's had a great year while staying relatively healthy. We were encouraged -- we didn't know how healthy he'd be for the season. We were happy to see him have the success he's had this year, and it's really nice to see him get recognition like that."

The 39-year-old Alfredsson has yet to decide whether he will come back for a 17th season. For now, his mind is focused on chasing the Stanley Cup.

"I'm still taking things day by day," Alfredsson said. "I'll think about it in the offseason, whenever that may be. Right now I'm thinking about Game 7 (against the New York Rangers)."
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Posted On Monday, 04.23.2012 / 12:37 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Alfredsson 'looking forward' to returning

OTTAWA -- After missing three games with a concussion, Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is ready to return to the lineup for Game 6 of his team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers on Monday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

Alfredsson was injured midway through Game 2 when he was elbowed in the head by the Rangers' Carl Hagelin.

"I feel good," Alfredsson said. "[Sunday] went well, and I expected to feel good. I'm looking forward to [Monday]."

Alfredsson knows his return will be noted by the Rangers, but doesn't feel like coming back from injury makes him a target.

"I don't think I'm any more of a target than anyone else," he said. "I can't put a stop sign on the back of my jersey. I think everyone knows that if you're going to play in the playoffs, you're going to be expected to be treated the same as everyone else. I feel physically fine to be able to handle the physical play."

The captain downplayed the fact that his re-joining the team coincides with the Senators' first chance to close the series. Ottawa currently leads the best-of-seven matchup 3-2.

"It's just another game," Alfredsson said. "As you go deeper into series, the magnitude gets bigger and bigger -- we expect nothing but the best from the Rangers, and we're going to have to play our best, battle for 60 [minutes] or whatever it's going to take."

Coach Paul MacLean said he's grateful to have his team's leader back in the lineup, and hopes he can help out on special teams.

"[Alfredsson] is the captain, he's been here a long time, I think it means a lot to us to have him back in the lineup," MacLean said. "I think he can make the power play better, and just having him in there is going to be a good shot for our team."

Added Jason Spezza: "[Alfredsson] is our leader and we tried to hold things up pretty well while he was away, but we're always happiest when he's out on the ice with us."
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Posted On Monday, 04.23.2012 / 12:19 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Silfverberg ready to start NHL career

OTTAWA -- Jakob Silfverberg, who arrived in Ottawa from Sweden on Sunday, participated in the morning skate Monday and was seen skating on the top line alongside Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza. Silfverberg, who was the first of two second-round picks in the 2009 draft, helped Brynas capture the Swedish Elite League championship April 19. The 21-year-old led Brynas players in postseason scoring with 20 points, including a new league high of 13 goals (surpassing Daniel Alfredsson's 2005 record of 12).

If the Senators want to put Silfverberg in the lineup, he says he's ready to go.

"I feel well-rested," Silfverberg said. "I have had a few days off and I feel better than I did. Last week of our playoffs was at home, so that helped.  It's a dream you have as a child to play in the NHL. It's the best League in the world. It's a dream come true just to be here."

Coach Paul MacLean said that he was "considering" putting Silfverberg in the lineup, but had yet to make a final decision.
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