OTTAWA -- The youth movement for the Ottawa Senators continues; 21-year-old forward Mark Stone will enter the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
Ottawa is down 2-1 in the best-of-7 series, and Senators coach Paul MacLean wanted a bigger body around the opposing net, something the 6-foot-2, 188-pound wing can provide.
"We factored in how well [Stone] has played in the American Hockey League [with Binghamton] this year," MacLean said of Stone, who tied for the AHL team lead with 38 points. "He's really had a good season there. He's really good with the puck and without it. He's a big man down around the net."
The struggles of Michalek during the Stanley Cup Playoffs have been difficult to ignore. The 28-year-old missed 24 regular-season games with a right knee injury, eventually requiring arthroscopic surgery in March to clean out debris around the joint. In 23 games, Michalek scored four goals and 10 assists. Since his return on April 12, Michalek has rarely participated in practices, electing instead to rest and recuperate.
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators find themselves down 2-0 in their Eastern Conference Semifinals series with the Pittsburgh Penguins heading into Game 3 Sunday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). But the Senators are hoping the return of Jason Spezza to their lineup provides the spark they desperately need.
Spezza has been out of the lineup since Jan. 27, and a herniated disc in his back forced the 29-year-old to undergo surgery.
"[Spezza] gives us more depth," coach Paul MacLean said. "He's a legitimate No. 1 center."
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators held an optional skate Wednesday before departing for Montreal. The Senators lead the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, with Game 5 set for Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).
OTTAWA – An anemic power play has been a thorn in the side of the Ottawa Senators for some time. Now, as the Senators to prepare to face the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series Saturday night (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS), the team and its coach were forced to address the issue yet again. .
"It's no secret; we're going to try and get shots and bodies in front," team captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We've had a couple of good looks on and off, but it hasn't been consistent and I believe, especially on the road, it's even more important to have the power play give you a spark. [In Game 2] we had our chances right before the [Canadiens] scored in the second period, and if we had scored there, it could have been the difference in the game."
But that spark never came, leading to more of the same for the Senators this season. During the final eight regular-season games, Ottawa went 2-for-29 on the man advantage -- the Senators were 25-for-157 for the season, leaving it tied with the New Jersey Devils for 20th in the League with a 15.9 percentage rating.
Through two postseason games, the Senators have had nine shots during six power plays. The penalty kill of the Canadiens finished No. 23, in the regular season, with zero shorthanded goals. However, in addition to the lack of power-play success, Ottawa has also faced seven shorthanded shots from Montreal so far in the series. When coach Paul MacLean was confronted with the opinion that his power play has been "horrific", MacLean was forced to agree.
The Senators square off against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series Sunday at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).
MacLean said Spezza, who has been recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disc sustained on Jan. 27, took a "public skate" Saturday morning but is no closer to entering the lineup.
Kyle Turris, who has been serving as the Senators' first-line center since Spezza's injury, has been moved around several times in the postseason lineup. In Game 2, Jean-Gabriel Pageau saw time on the top line, leading some media to wonder if MacLean was unhappy with Turris' performance.
"Kyle's had a tremendous season, and he's played hard in the playoffs," MacLean said. "A lot of times, when we move him around, it's to get a different look for him and against a different set of defensemen. If they're playing their best guys against them, maybe we put him against their next-best guys. Those are the types of things we’re doing to generate offense."
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators hit the ice Tuesday for the first time since the end of the regular season, but there were two key pieces missing.
Defenseman Chris Phillips and forward Milan Michalek did not skate, but coach Paul MacLean said the veterans were taking maintenance days and were expected to practice Wednesday in Montreal. Their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Canadiens starts Thursday at Bell Centre.
OTTAWA -- Fresh off a triumphant return to the Ottawa Senators lineup on Thursday, defenseman Erik Karlsson will play in his first home game since Feb. 13, when Matt Cooke's skate cut his left Achilles tendon.
The injury, which required surgery, was estimated to require 4-6 months in recovery time, but the former Norris Trophy winner was able to make a stunning recovery, returning to the lineup in 31 games. Karlsson admitted Saturday morning the Stanley Cup Playoffs served as motivation to return.
"It's the most fun you can have," Karlsson said. "It's what everyone plays for, and it's what everyone wants to be a part of. I was part of missing it one year (when the Senators did not make the postseason in 2010-11) and I've been part of going to the first round (against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009-10 and New York Rangers in 2011-12) and I know how much fun that was. You build up during the season and hopefully get to the playoffs for a good run."
Here are the projected lines for the Senators and Philadelphia Flyers at Scotiabank Place on Saturday night:
It will be his second straight start; he stopped 38 of 40 shots Saturday as the Penguins beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Marc-Andre Fleury did not make the trip to Ottawa with the team, as his wife is about to have a baby.
Eric Hartzell, signed April 14 after leading Quinnipiac University to the Frozen Four championship game, will serve as the backup.
The Penguins also will not have defenseman Kris Letang or rookie forward Beau Bennett in the lineup. Letang did not practice Sunday and did not travel with the team due to a case of food poisoning. Bennett is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Here are the projected lineups for the Penguins and Senators :
Cowen underwent surgery in November to repair a torn labrum in his left hip after being injured in an American Hockey League game, and the thinking at the time was he would be lost for the remainder of the season.
It's a huge boost for an Ottawa team that is without Erik Karlsson (Achilles) on its blue line.
"It's a big day," Cowen said. "I've had this day in mind for a while. I picked it a long time ago because it's not a back-to-back and it's at home. I wanted to start at home. I worked really hard to get here. Sometimes rehab doesn't go the way you want it to. A lot of it has been luck. When I'm on the ice doing drills or skating, I don't think about my hip at all, and my doctor said that's the key. All systems are go."
Cowen played in all 82 games for the Senators as a rookie last season, posting five goals and 17 points. The 22-year-old was a first-round pick (No. 9) in the 2009 NHL Draft.
Here are the projected lineups for the Hurricanes and Senators:
Note: Chris Neil was injured against the New York Rangers on Thursday when a skate blade cut his leg. He returned to finish the game but left practice early on Saturday. Coach Paul MacLean said Neil would be a game-time decision.
OTTAWA – Jared Cowen practiced with the Ottawa Senators for the first time this season Wednesday. Cowen was sidelined with a torn labrum in his left hip sustained during a game with the Binghamton Senators in October. The defenseman had surgery in November and expected to miss the rest of the season.
Goalie Craig Anderson also worked out with the team Wednesday. Anderson sprained his ankle on Feb. 21 against the New York Rangers, and though he still has no set date for his return, he did not rule out being ready to play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Here are the projected lineups for the Rangers and Senators on Thursday night at Scotiabank Place:
OTTAWA --Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, who has missed the last 14 games with a high ankle sprain, took shots on net for the first time at practice on Monday morning. Coach Paul MacLean said that Anderson is "progressing" but did not offer any timeline for his return.
Here's how the lineups project for Monday night's game between the Senators and New Jersey Devils:
OTTAWA -- Boston Bruins center David Krejci said that when he woke up Thursday morning, his right knee felt "much better," but his status for the game Thursday against the Ottawa Senators won't be decided until game-time.
OTTAWA – Here are the projected lineups for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place on Saturday night. The Senators held their practice at their home arena, while the Maple Leafs elected to skate at Carleton University.
Coach Paul MacLean confirmed Michalek (knee) skated Saturday morning, but does not expect him to be available against Montreal on Monday. There was no update on Craig Anderson, who remains day-to-day with a right ankle sprain.
Coming into Ottawa after a 7-0 blowout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at home, the Islanders are looking to regroup on this road trip.
"[Monday] was a horrible game for us," Streit said. "If you lose 7-zip, you want to turn the page. We have a big opportunity [Tuesday] to play better. As the captain, didn't really need to say anything [after that loss]. Everybody knew what happened on the ice and how awful we played. I didn't think it was the right moment to step up in the locker room. [Tuesday] on the ice, we need to play a really good game and come together."
OTTAWA – Friday, Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel said Ondrej Pavelec was battling flu-like symptoms but wouldn’t confirm Al Montoya as the starting goaltender. If Pavelec is still ill, look for Montoya to make his third start of the season Saturday against the Ottawa Senators. The Jets' backup goaltender sports a 4.33 goals-against average and .806 save percentage.
Here are the projected lineups for the Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon. Due to the 2 p.m. start, neither team held practices on Saturday.
The Hurricanes did not skate Thursday morning. On Wednesday, coach Kirk Muller wouldn't confirm if Corvo, a former Senator, would re-enter the lineup. If so, expect Sanguinetti to become a healthy scratch. Ward is expected to get the start.
Lundin, who has been sidelined with a finger injury, will enter the lineup Thursday night for his first game as a Senator. He will likely play alongside Gonchar, who has missed the last two games with the flu.
Enroth exited the ice first after practice, indicating that he is likely to get the start. He has a career record of 3-0-1 against the Senators, with a 2.16 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage.
Ehrhoff skated briefly at the beginning of practice, then left the ice and did not return. Pardy, who was recalled from Rochester on Monday, is expected to fill the hole in the lineup.
Da Costa, who was called up from Binghamton on Monday, will see time on the fourth line, flanked by Erik Condra and Jim O'Brien.
Coach Paul MacLean said Gonchar (flu) is expected to play, and Borowiecki would likely come out of the lineup. Both will take warm-up Tuesday night.
With only one goal in their last two games, offense has become a serious issue for the Senators. The loss of Spezza, who required back surgery to repair a herniated desk, is significant. However, the team knows that they must make up for his absence by any means necessary.
"You can never replace [Jason Spezza]," Turris said. "He's one of the best players in the League. To fill that void, we've got to simplify things, and get pucks and bodies to the net. Everybody kinds of tenses up [with the lack of offense] -- that's when you’ve got to keep shooting. Hopefully one goes off somebody's butt and in, and they all start trickling in after that."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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).
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."
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.
"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."
"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)."
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."
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.
OTTAWA, Ont. – Barring a setback, it appears there is a distinct possibility captain Daniel Alfredsson could play in Game 6 against the Rangers on Monday.
Alfredsson, who has been sidelined with a concussion since Game 2, took part in the optional practice at Scotiabank Place Sunday afternoon, just several hours after Ottawa took a win in Game 5 to take a three-games-to-two lead in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series.
“I feel good,” Alfredsson said. “It’s nice to be back on the ice – I skated a bit on my own on [Saturday] as well. Today’s another step and it’s been a good couple of days. I’m hopeful. We’re obviously going to wait until [Monday] but the way the last two days felt, I’m encouraged. So unless something changes, that’s it.”
While he was frustrated by sitting out, the captain has been impressed with the way the team has played in his absence.
“We’ve done a great job on defense and in our own end,” Alfredsson said. “Penalty killing has been outstanding, but also, just playing hard every shift – that’s been our mentality throughout the whole year. We’re going to give it everything we have and see where we end up in the end. We need another gutsy effort [on Monday] and need everyone to bring their best. “
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators held their final practice on Friday morning prior to departing for New York without captain Daniel Alfredsson. The Sens will face off against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series Saturday night.
Here are the lines as they appeared during practice:
Stone and Hoffman saw time on the second line and coach Paul MacLean confirmed that Stone would be traveling to New York with the team.
“We’re keeping all of our player options open,” he said.
Alfredsson (concussion) did not skate, and MacLean informed the media that the captain would remain in Ottawa, along with Jesse Winchester (upper body). There has been no change in the conditions of either player.
OTTAWA – The Ottawa Senators took Thursday off after their 3-2 overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game 4 Wednesday. The Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series now stands tied 2-2, with Game 5 sent for Saturday (7 pm. ET, NBCSN, CBC) in New York.
Captain Daniel Alfredsson [concussion] remains sidelined and his status for Game 5 is unclear.
"Nothing’s changed. I'm just going to come in [on Friday] and see if he's here," coach Paul MacLean said. "If he's not, he's not. If he is, that'd be great. But I can't speculate what day or when he's going to be here. It's just one of those things you have to be patient with. I think he's feeling better all the time and he's working out. We're not practicing [Thursday] so he's not skating, either. We're in the process of getting him back. I talked to him really briefly. He was real positive and happy with the team win."
Jesse Winchester is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury, but MacLean wouldn't offer any details on how the injury occurred. The forward left the game Wednesday in the second period and did not return.
Mike Hoffman, who was called up from Binghamton on Sunday, spent some time skating with the second line, but coach Paul MacLean was coy about whether he would use Hoffman, only saying that he was "keeping all options open." Hoffman played in one regular season game with the Senators on Dec. 23, and did not register a point.
There was no update on Daniel Alfredsson (concussion), who was absent from the ice for the second consecutive day.
Spezza said the team has closed the book on their 1-0 in Game 3 and needs to focus only on tonight.
"You've got to cut your losses and not hang on to it," he said. "You learn from every game, every game you take something [away from it.] We did a lot of things well last game, now we [just have to] score and for us, I think it would benefit our team if we tried to get out to a lead. We haven't played with a lead for much in the series at all."
The Senators took part in an optional practice Tuesday afternoon, following their 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Monday night at Scotiabank Place. The Rangers currently lead the Sens 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series.
Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson were absent from the ice. Karlsson and Anderson took a maintenance day, while Alfredsson continues to recover from his concussion. Alfredsson received a blow to the head from the Rangers' Carl Hagelin during the second period of Game 2. The captain participated in the morning skate on Monday and was listed as a game-time decision for Game 3, but did not play. Alfredsson has now suffered a setback in his recovery, leaving his availability for Game 4 unclear.
"We're going to evaluate it and see what it is in the morning," MacLean said. "If [Alfredsson] is better and things go good, we'll evaluate the lineup and make decisions then.
"He's the captain of the team. He's the most experienced player on the team. It's a big loss for any team. I think the team stepped up and played really well. I thought Bobby [Butler] went in and played real well for us. That's what we need to happen. When a team faces adversity, it's an opportunity. We're not replacing Daniel Alfredsson. We don't have that player."
The Senators' practice largely focused on special teams, with MacLean spending most of the skate working with the team's first power play unit of Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza, Butler, Filip Kuba and Sergei Gonchar. The Sens' power play is 1-for-10 through three games, with the only goal on the man-advantage coming from Erik Karlsson in Game 2.
There was no immediate indication as to who would dress in Alfredsson's place.
The Senators captain admitted he received a concussion after Carl Hagelin elbowed him in the head during Game 2 on Saturday. Alfredsson left the ice and did not return. However, Monday saw the 39-year-old take part in a full skate. Alfredsson said he would gauge how he felt in the hours between the skate and the game, and if he felt up to it, he would be in the lineup.
"We'll see -- we'll decide at game time if I'm playing or not," Alfredsson said. "I have felt better. [Sunday] was better than Saturday. Bike ride yesterday -- I felt pretty good throughout the day … was active at home with the kids … felt pretty good this morning. Next step obviously is to skate today, which I did this morning, and we'll see what happens."
When asked about his previous concussion history, Alfredsson said he has to play it by ear.
"Every situation is different, you take it as it comes, it is what is," Alfredsson said. "You can't force something like this -- you feel what you feel. I find [it's best] to just relax and go with the flow. If it's good, it's good. If it's not, it's not. You can't do anything about it. The less stress you put on yourself, the more you help yourself."
Despite being taken out of the game, Alfredsson holds no ill will against Hagelin, who received a three-game suspension for the incident.
"It's hard -- I don't think [Hagelin] is that kind of guy," Alfredsson said. "With the intensity and the things that go on in a playoff game, things happen. He gets an elbow up; maybe he wouldn't if it's not a playoff game. If there's one thing that the League is preaching, it's blows to the head. I'm sure they went through [the video] a lot of times and I'm sure they did the right thing in watching.
"I'm not the type of guy who's going to hold a grudge. It's playoff hockey. If it needs to be disciplined, the League will take care of that and move on."
"I'm going to contribute physically and take pucks to the net," Winchester said. "I'm just going to try and grind their team down and use my body. I have to keep improving and matching everything that they bring to us."
MacLean hopes to use Winchester's wheels to the top line's advantage.
"He plays with speed," MacLean said. "He get can get on the forecheck and use his speed to his advantage. He handles the puck fine. That's what we like."
KANATA, Ont. – Ottawa coach Paul MacLean played it close to the vest after Sunday afternoon’s optional skate at Scotiabank Place. The news was guardedly positive on Daniel Alfredsson, who received a blow to the head from the Rangers’ Carl Hagelin during Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on Saturday.
“[Alfredsson] was feeling good today,” MacLean said. “He’ll be further evaluated and we’ll see what he’s like [on Monday]. At this point, I don’t know [if he’ll take part in the morning skate]. I don’t have an opinion on [the hit] at any time. It’s playoff hockey. It’s Brendan [Shanahan’s] job.”
Carl Hagelin does face a disciplinary hearing with Shanahan on sunday for the elbow, which was penalized by a five-minute major.
MacLean was also happy with the way his team played in Game 2 after appearing to struggle with the pace and intensity of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 1.
“I think the whole game, we played physical. The puck contests were physical. I thought we handled momentum in the second game better, and we handled the 60 minutes [well], not like the first game where we had a four or five minute lull. We need to keep that going.”
“Today is just going to be a rest day for us, and try and get away from the game a little bit,” Jason Spezza said. “Eat well, sleep well … tomorrow we regain our focus. We went over the video of [Saturday’s] game; stuff we did [well], stuff we need to improve on. Now we park that game.”
After tying their series with the Rangers 1-1 at Madison Square Garden, the Sens are content to get back in their own building.
“We’re happy to be home now in front of our fans,” Spezza said. “We’re excited to see the reception we get here. Now we have the opportunity to use the crowd to our advantage. Hopefully they’ll come support us and give us that extra little bit of energy.”
KANATA, Ont. -- The Ottawa Senators held their second full practice Tuesday afternoon in preparation for their series against the New York Rangers, which begins on Thursday. Here were the lines as they appeared during the skate:
Matt Carkner (lower-body injury) was absent from practice for the second consecutive day, but coach Paul MacLean expects that he will participate in Wednesday's skate. O'Brien took a puck off his hand and left practice early. MacLean said he will be evaluated but he didn't hear anything "drastic about it" from the team's physical trainers.
Mika Zibanejad was given time as a top-six forward, leading to additional speculation that the No. 6 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft could see action during the Senators' postseason. Zibanejad, who had one assist in nine games for the Senators at the start of the season before he was returned to Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Elite League, will head to Binghamton to play in the final two games of the season, after which he would be made available to the big club.
"I don't know what's going to happen," Zibanejad said. "We'll take it day by day. I'm just doing what the coach and [Bryan] Murray wants me to do. Obviously, you hear so much about the playoffs and you want to be a part of it. But I'm here to work hard and just make sure I'm ready when the opportunity comes up.
"[Zibanejad] brings speed and offensive ability, there's no question," Daniel Alfredsson said. "He's been playing in Sweden most of the year and getting lots of ice time. We haven't seen him much lately, but he's looking good in practice. We'll see what the coaches decide."
"We wanted to see how [Zibanejad's] done, now with his season over, and just give him an opportunity to practice with our best guys and see how he looked," MacLean said. "I think right now he's going to Binghamton to play with them this weekend, and he'll be available to us if we feel like we can use him. Basically we're seeing how he's progressed. I thought he skated real good, but he's still a young player."
KANATA, Ont. -- The Ottawa Senators took to the ice Monday morning in preparation for their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers, which begins on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Chris Neil, who did not play during the last game of the regular season against New Jersey due to an upper-body injury, skated alone prior to practice and participated in the first 15 minutes of drills before leaving the ice. MacLean anticipates that Neil will be ready for Thursday, as does Neil himself.
"I feel pretty good -- went out early, did about 45 minutes … things are looking good for Thursday," he said.
"We're obviously excited to get back in the playoffs as you can tell," Jason Spezza said. "We had a great practice today -- there's a little bit more jump out there and we're just looking forward to getting started. [As for losing the last three games of the regular season], playoffs wipe everything clean. Now it's just looking forward to the first game and getting the momentum."
After completing his season with Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Elite League, Mika Zibanejad arrived in Ottawa on Sunday and took part in the morning practice. Zibanejad will to report to Binghamton to play in the team's final two games of the season, however, MacLean said "there's a consideration -- [Zibanejad] would be allowed to play for us [in the postseason] … we just have to be sure that's the right thing to do."
Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara did not travel with the team -- all three are resting in preparation for the playoffs. MacDermid was recalled from Providence on Wednesday and will start on the fourth line. The Bruins said defenseman Johnny Boychuk is day-to-day after sustaining a knee strain against Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Goalie Tuukka Rask (lower body) is anticipated to be back in time for the postseason. Mike Mottau is a healthy scratch.
Sergei Gonchar has a lower-body injury, coach Paul MacLean said. He is day-to-day. Ben Bishop (groin) skated for the fourth consecutive day. "Things are positive and progressing for him," MacLean said.
Crosby admitted the ability to vault into first place in the Eastern Conference with a win against the Senators on Saturday night is in the back of the Pens’ minds.
“It’s something we’re aware of and we want to get it but I think if we focus on the way we need to play, those things will take care of themselves,” Crosby said. “We’ve got some games here before playoffs and we want to make sure we’re playing the right way.”
The Pittsburgh captain also continues to feel better on the ice, but he still wants to work on his timing.
“I’m just (trying to) get comfortable with the speed and decisions,” he said. “There’s so many aspects that go into a full, complete game. You kind of have to learn on the fly, sometimes. There’s only so much you can do as far as practicing – you have to get into games. I think the speed and the decision making takes a little longer (to get back).”
Spezza will play in his 600th career game on Tuesday night. On Monday, the center served as pallbearer at the funeral of his childhood friend, Canadian freestyle skier, Nik Zoricic, who was killed during a World Cup event on Mar. 10.
"It's a good honor to play that many games, and it's good to see him do it," Chris Neil said. "He's a professional and he knows he has to step in and play -- and a big milestone like this -- obviously he's got a lot on his plate. But he'll be able to put that aside."
General manager Bryan Murray told TV reporters that Craig Anderson (hand) requires a full four weeks of recovery, according to the surgeon who repaired the severed tendon in Anderson’s pinkie finger. This means that the earliest the goaltender could return to duty would be Mar. 23 against Montreal.
When asked why he chose not to bring physical players like Carkner and Konopka back into the lineup against the Leafs, coach Paul MacLean deadpanned, “The games (against Toronto) haven’t been that truculent.”
After an optional skate Saturday morning, Randy Carlyle would not confirm if the team would once again go with seven defensemen. Here are the projected lines if the Leafs choose to go that route:
Habs coach Randy Cunneyworth was coy about playing the role of spoiler against the Senators.
"We still have a lot to play for," he said. "Other teams have other things to play for. But there's always something important to be playing for. We have to be playing for the right reasons. We have to play hard, we have to compete. If it spoils (things) for other teams, so be it."
KANATA, Ont. – Here are the projected lineups for a game Saturday night between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres. The Senators held a full practice, while the Sabres went with an optional skate.
According to Cassie Campbell-Pascal of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, Erik Karlsson (general soreness) is a game-time decision for the Senators. Karlsson took part in practice Saturday, but did not participate Friday. If Karlsson does not play, Matt Carkner will re-enter the lineup.
Jesse Winchester (concussion) skated with the team during practice for the second consecutive day and he “appears to be symptom-free,” according to coach Paul MacLean. “At some point we have to do the protocol and see where he ends up, but it’s a process.” There is still no timetable set for his return.
Craig Anderson (hand) also saw ice time Saturday morning. “It’s positive, he practiced again today and he handled the puck,” MacLean said. “He’s getting more comfortable with that and I think they’re still making some adjustments to his glove.” There is no timeline on his return.
The following are the lines from the Sabres’ practice Friday. Thomas Vanek, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and Patrick Kaleta (general soreness) are game-time decisions. On Friday, Marcus Foligno was called up on an emergency basis from Rochester. On Saturday morning, Lindy Ruff said of Foligno, “I want him to be the best Foligno on the ice.” This would appear to indicate that Marcus will be playing Saturday night, but it is uncertain whom he would be replacing, leaving the Buffalo lines in a great amount of flux.
Ray Emery will start in goal, with Corey Crawford the backup. It will be Emery's first start in Ottawa since he was bought out of his contract by the Senators following the 2007-08 season.
"It's exciting -- I have good memories of being here," Emery said following the Hawks' morning skate. "That said, it's an important time of year for the team. We've got 17 games left here and it's a real fight in the West. I want to stay focused and win the game. You always get motivation from playing your old teams, especially when you see the success they've had here."
Defenseman Nicklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) is day-to-day, as is Jonathan Toews (upper body).
KANATA, Ont. – Here are the projected lineups for Saturday night when the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins meet at Scotiabank Place. The Senators held a full practice, while the Bruins, coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to Buffalo on Friday night, did not skate.
Robin Lehner was called up from Binghamton on Friday, while Craig Anderson (hand) is out indefinitely. Alex Auld has started just seven games this season, going 2-3-2 with a 3.28 goals-against average and a .883 save percentage. His last start was Feb .9 against Nashville – a game the Senators won 4-3.
“Personally, I’m excited to have the opportunity to help the team,” Auld said. “I’ve been in this situation a couple of times where you have to fill in for injury, and I’ve been in situations where you have to play every night as well. It’s fun – it’s why you play the game. I’m really looking forward to it.”
KANATA, Ont. -- After coming off a 5-2 victory against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night, Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson suffered a hand laceration at home while preparing a meal, which required medical treatment at a local hospital.
Anderson is expected to make a full recovery, but is out indefinitely. The Senators have yet to make any call-ups from Binghamton.
KANATA, Ont. -- Here are the projected lineups for Wednesday's game between the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals at Scotiabank Place. The Sens held a full practice, while the Caps went with an optional skate.
With 15 points in his last six games and after being named the NHL's Third Star of the Week, Spezza was quick to give credit to linemates Michalek and Butler for his recent streak.
"I've been opportunistic and my linemates have given me some good chances in good scoring areas," he said. "I've managed to bury the puck on 2-on-1's and odd-man rushes which you don't get a lot of these days. The guys have done a good job of getting me the puck, and I feel pretty good right now.
"You just play, and try and figure out what you're doing well and build on it. I think there's still areas of my game that I'm trying to get better at, but you don't change too much equipment-wise and you just stick with what you’ve got."
KANATA, Ont. -- Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher, who makes his first trip back to Ottawa since being traded last February, is excited to be back facing his old friends.
"It feels great. It's good to be here to see a lot of close friends and family," Fisher said. "It took a while (to settle in); I don't think I did until the summer. It's definitely strange being in the other locker room. I hope it will be good. I had a lot of good years here and the fans always treated me really well."
Nashville coach Barry Trotz knows that the night is special for Fisher, as a part of him never truly left Canada's capital.
"One thing Fish will tell you is that he really loved his time in Ottawa," Trotz said. "Obviously we (benefited) from getting him; he's become a big part of Nashville just as he was in Ottawa. But I know there's a big piece of Mike Fisher in Ottawa. He was always in the community and he's always had ties. I could tell in the last week he was getting a little antsy, and it will be a bit strange for him."
Fisher, who was always a fan favorite in Ottawa, will likely get a rousing ovation when he takes the ice. Trotz wants to be sure his star gets a chance to bask in it.
"I'm going to ask him (about putting him in the starting lineup)," he said. "There are two trains of thought: I could start him, or I could wait for that first whistle and have him come out. Hopefully the referees will give him a long chance to get to the faceoff circle. I'll let him decide that. And I know what his answer will be: 'You decide that … I've got enough on my mind.'"
KANATA, Ont. --Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who will play in his 1,000th game on Thursday, insists it's just another day at the office.
"Once you're into the game, it's all business and we're trying to get back to our winning ways," he said. "I'm very proud of it -- it's a lot of games, and to do it all with one team makes it a little bit sweeter, for sure."
Phillips, the No. 1 pick in the 1996 Entry Draft, has made it through the long haul in Ottawa.
"There was talk early on of being trade bait, possibly being moved," he said. "And later on, I've had the opportunity of maybe moving on, but I'm certainly glad that everything worked and nothing happened, and I was able to continue to help this team out and have this night tonight.
"I think my role is more defined after that long being a defensive player, and priding myself on that. I came in as playing power play and putting some points up in junior, but that's definitely changed over the years. No matter what's been asked on the ice, it;s fun."
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who celebrated his 1,000th game earlier in the season, knows what Phillips is going through.
"I played on the road, which I think was a little bit easier," he said. "Here, we're at home, there's more distractions. But you just gotta go with the flow. We know it will be nerve-wracking for him, being here and anticipating the game. Once you get to the rink and get into your routine and that kind of settles you down. But we're going to be sure it's fun to join him in this game tonight, and hopefully we can get a win for him."
On Friday, Jim O’Brien was called up from Binghamton as “insurance” for an ailing Spezza, who is battling the flu. Spezza played against the Islanders, but O’Brien still went into the lineup, replacing Bobby Butler, who was a healthy scratch. On Saturday, coach Paul MacLean said that there would be no changes to the lineup.
KANATA, ONT. -- Here are the projected lineups for Sunday evening's game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. Neither team skated due to the early start and after playing each other Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia, where the Flyers won 3-2, in overtime.
Boulton will enter the lineup on Monday, while Tim Sestito sits as a healthy scratch. Anton Volchenkov did not practice, but did ride the stationary bike. He is out against the Sens, and Taormina will take his place.
KANATA, Ont. – Here are the projected lineups for Thursday night’s game between the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators. The Sens participated in a full practice, while the Flames, coming off a 3-1 loss to the Islanders on Long Island on Thursday, held an optional skate.
After missing the last five games due to a concussion, Milan Michalek returns to the lineup. Chris Phillips did not take part in the morning skate and won't play tonight. There was no update on Jesse Winchester, who has missed the last two games with a concussion.
KANATA, Ont. -- Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek, out since Dec. 13 with a concussion, participated in Thursday's morning skate while wearing a grey no-contact jersey and will not play in the game against the Florida Panthers. He is expected to return after Christmas, the earliest being the Dec. 27 game against Montreal. Michalek will take a baseline test today to assess his progress, but wants to concentrate on his conditioning before returning.
Peter Regin re-aggravated his shoulder against Buffalo on Tuesday -- he practiced on Wednesday, but according to coach Paul MacLean, it tightened up and he will be out of the lineup indefinitely. Ottawa will dress seven defensemen for Thursday's game to compensate. Regin previously had surgery on the same shoulder in March, but re-injured it in October and missed 22 games.
"He has to make the decision what's best for him," MacLean said. "Surgery (again) is an option."
KANATA, Ont. -- Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek skated by himself prior to Tuesday's practice for the first time since suffering a concussion in a Dec. 13 game against Buffalo and could return to the lineup by the end of the week.
"He felt good and said he wanted to go for a skate," coach Paul MacLean said. "We'll take that as a positive. I haven't heard anything negative from the skate. If it's tomorrow when we practice, and we play on Friday and he says he can go, we'll probably let him play."
Kyle Turris plays his first game as a Senator on Tuesday, after being acquired on Saturday from Phoenix for David Rundblad and a second-round pick.
"I'm excited … can't wait for the puck to drop and get at it," Turris said. "It's a little bit nerve-wracking, and I want to get off to a good start. I always put pressure on myself, but I feel good and ready to go."
"Our expectation is for him to come in and solidify the second line position for us," MacLean said. "We're going to give him the opportunity to establish himself as a player. We're going to put him on the ice with good people and see what he does. We don't have any expectations as to how much he'll score. We believe he's a good player. If he plays well, we'll play him lots. If things aren't going really good for him, we'll just play him normal."
“Right now we have to follow the concussion protocol, so he’s day-to-day," MacLean said. "It's based on as long as he's symptom-free, he can participate. He felt way better today, so we'll see how it goes."
The injury occurred with just over five minutes left in the game, when Michalek collided with teammate Erik Karlsson.
"I read the guy's pass and stepped up and I think (Michalek) was coming full speed to backcheck," Karlsson said after the game. "I was only looking for their guys and not ours and we collided pretty hard there. We were both going forward."
KANATA, Ont. – Here are the projected lineups for Wednesday night when the Boston Bruins meet the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. Both teams held optional skates after the Sens faced the Sabres in Buffalo on Tuesday night, while the Bruins played Los Angeles at home.
Milan Michalek is day-to-day with a concussion. The injury occurred during a collision with Karlsson on Tuesday night against Buffalo. Filip Kuba (shoulder) and Sergei Gonchar (upper-body) both skated this morning, and are also listed as day-to-day. Coach Paul MacLean hopes to have at least one of them back in the lineup Friday.
Zdeno Chara (leg) skated today, and says he “felt okay, but probably most likely will not (play) – but it’s a game time decision.” Gregory Campbell, who fractured his foot Dec. 10 against Columbus, did not travel with the team. Jordan Caron is expected to be a healthy scratch.
Here are the projected lineups for the game Saturday night between the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. The Senators held a full skate, while the Canucks went with an optional practice.
After missing the last 24 games with a shoulder injury, Peter Regin returns to the lineup and will play on the Alfredsson line, but according to coach Paul MacLean, he will not be taking faceoffs. Matt Carkner will also play in his first regular season game Saturday after completing a conditioning stint in Binghamton. Sergei Gonchar is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Filip Kuba (shoulder) is skating, but MacLean estimated that he is still approximately a week away from returning. Zenon Konopka and Nikita Filatov are the healthy scratches.
Filip Kuba has been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury sustained Nov. 29 against Winnipeg and will be out 3-4 weeks. Matt Carkner, who has yet to play a regular-season game after requiring knee surgery in the preseason, will join the Senators in New Jersey on Thursday, but will not play. His earliest expected return will be against Vancouver on Saturday.
Washington coach Dale Hunter said Semin (shoulder) and defenseman Roman Hamrlik (lower-body injury) are "game-time decisions." Both skated with the team this morning, with Semin spending a second straight day on the top line.
Craig Anderson will get the start, with Alex Auld serving as backup. Nikita Filatov is the healthy scratch. Filip Kuba, who sustained an upper body injury against the Jets on Nov. 29, skated by himself on Sunday morning. There is no timetable for his return.
Chris Neil, who injured his ankle against the New York Rangers on Nov. 9, skated on his own for 20-30 minutes on Thursday. According to MacLean, there will be no timetable for his return until he practices with the team.
According to Carolina team writer Michael Smith, Jay Harrison, who sustained an upper body injury against Montreal on Wednesday, did not travel with the team. Joni Pitkanen, who injured his lower body against the Rangers on Nov. 11, is listed as probable. He will skate today and then decide if he is ready to go. If Pitkanen returns, expect him to replace Derek Joslin in the lineup.
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson skated for the third day in a row, and practiced with the team Wednesday morning for the first time since suffering a concussion the last time the Senators faced the New York Rangers. Alfredsson has passed his latest baseline test and hopes to return to the lineup soon, although no timetable has been set.
"It feels good," he said. "It's been over a week, and the past few days it's been encouraging for sure. Friday I was dizzy, Saturday, so-so, but since Sunday the trainer's been working on my neck a lot, and it's been quite a bit better. Since Sunday, I've been doing a lot more -- skating and riding the bike, and it's been good. I haven't had any issues since then. We'll take it day-by-day."
Coach Paul MacLean says Alfredsson has been cleared for contact.
"My understanding is that he's passed all the NHL protocols," he said. "He's free to go."
Matt Carkner also took part in the morning practice, sporting a no-contact jersey. Carkner underwent knee surgery during training camp, and has yet to play this season. MacLean insists the defenseman is still "a little ways away" from returning to the lineup.
KANATA, Ont. --Daniel Alfredsson spoke to the media for the first time since receiving a hit to the head from the Rangers' Wojtek Wolski last Saturday.
The Ottawa captain appeared woozy after the hit, and has not played since. Although he is not experiencing headaches, Alfredsson confirmed on Thursday that he is still suffering from concussion symptoms. There is no timetable set for his return.
"I'm OK, not great,” Alfredsson said. "If I'm at home with the kids and I do too much, I get light-headed and a little dizzy and I have to sit down for a bit. Until that's gone, I'm not going to do anything physical."
He may lack a solid date for return, but the winger remains positive that he will rejoin his teammates in the near future.
"It's a different feeling. I'm hoping that in a few more days, it's going to be a lot better."
Peter Regin will be out 6-8 weeks with an injury to his left shoulder. He was hurt during the Oct. 20 game against Winnipeg after receiving a hit from Nik Antropov, and chosen rehab over surgery (Regin had the same shoulder repaired last season).
Bobby Butler has been cleared to play, but will be listed as a healthy scratch, along with Brian Lee.
Near the end of Thursday's practice, and in front of his teammates, Florida coach Kevin Dineen informed Gudbranson, the No. 3 pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, that he would be remaining with the big club. Gudbranson is set to play his ninth NHL game tonight, and once he plays his 10th the first year of his entry-level contract will kick in.
The announcement was met with cheers and hugs from the rest of the Panthers. According to George Richards of the Miami Herald, Erik's father, Wayne, was spotted choking up in the stands at the happy news.
Here are the projected lineups for Saturday night's game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. The Senators held a full practice, while the Blue Jackets elected not to skate, after coming off a 5-2 loss Friday night to the Red Wings in Detroit.
Peter Regin remains out of the lineup with an injured shoulder. He has been evaluated but results have yet to come in – they are expected to be announced tomorrow or Monday. Zenon Konopka returns to the lineup, and Brian Lee remains a healthy scratch. Both Bobby Butler (groin) and Matt Carkner (knee) skated with the team, but there is no timetable on their respective returns.
Steve Mason is expected to get the start, with Allen York serving as backup. York was called up from Springfield on Thursday after an upper-body injury to Curtis Sanford in practice.
Radek Martinek was hit by Darren Helm during Friday's game against Detroit, and may have suffered a concussion. He is being re-evaluated today. There has yet to be a call-up from Springfield at the time of this post.
Jesse Winchester will be returning to the lineup for his first game of the regular season, after coming off a shoulder injury sustained at the beginning of training camp. Zenon Konopka and Brian Lee are the healthy scratches.
Here's what the projected lineups could look like for Tuesday's game between the Ottawa Senators and the Philadelphia Flyers at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. Both teams held full practices, with the Sens coming off a 2-1 loss to the Capitals on Saturday in Washington, and the Flyers being beaten by the Kings 3-2 in overtime Saturday.
Harry Zolnierczyk was called up from the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League for tonight's game, and is expected to replace Andreas Nodl, who is banged up. Also, Matt Walker could make his season debut in place of defenseman Andreas Lilja.
Here are what the lineups could look like for Tuesday's game between the Ottawa Senators and Minnesota Wild at Scotiabank Place. The Senators had a full practice, while the Wild held an optional skate.
KANATA, Ont. – A hoarse voice was an indicator that Paul MacLean had much to say to his new team on the first day of training camp with the Ottawa Senators. However, the head coach seemed pleased with the results Saturday.
"I enjoyed the day," MacLean said. "I might not be able to talk much tomorrow. Today was a good day; I thought it had great energy. The players were ready to go fast, and I think we did go fast. Sometimes (we did it) to the point of not executing as well as we wanted to, but the fact that we got up and down the ice and that the scrimmage went well, I was pleased with the whole day."
After the first day, both veterans and rookies stood out to MacLean.
"I thought [Daniel Alfredsson] was great," he said. "I thought [Milan] Michalek was too, but I expected them to be very good. I thought [David] Rundblad was good again today, as was [Mika] Zibanejad."
"The scrimmage was fun," Zibanejad said. "It was maybe the next level (compared to the Oshawa Rookie Tournament). It was really high-paced."
The young center confessed to having stars in his eyes while playing alongside one of his idols, Daniel Alfredsson. Zibanejad skated on the same line as the captain and Milan Michalek for both the practice and scrimmage.
"You have to pinch yourself in the arm every time you see him out on the same ice as you," Zibanejad said. "It was a dream come true, for sure."
Alfredsson admitted Saturday to being impressed with the 18-year-old.
"He's a powerful skater and strong on the puck," Alfredsson said. "It's fun to be out there with him. He's quite a bit younger than I am, so I'm going to hopefully let him do the backchecking."
KANATA, Ont. -- It took an overtime period to end the Ottawa Senators' scrimmage on Saturday morning, but it was Team Kyte who came out on top against Team Marsh, 3-2.
Team Kyte led off the scoring, with Milan Michalek dishing off a feed to captain Daniel Alfredsson, who put one past Brian Stewart. Team Kyte would wrap up the first period with another goal, when Shane Prince capitalized on a giveaway from Louie Caporusso. Prince then found Maxime Gratchev, who squirted the puck past Stewart, for a 2-0 lead. Stewart prevented Team Kyte from going up 3-0 late in the period, when he made a highlight-reel glove save on Corey Cowick.
In the second period, Team Marsh was able to get on the board. As Mike McKenna scrambled down low in his net, Peter Regin was able to jostle the puck free and get it to Mark Borowiecki, who buried it below McKenna's pads.
A few minutes later, Nick Foligno impressed with a spin-o-rama backhand on McKenna, knotting the score at two.
With the scrimmage still tied after 50 minutes of play, an overtime frame was needed. It was only two minutes in when Alfredsson sent a beautiful pass to Milan Michalek, who backhanded the puck top-shelf on Robin Lehner.
"It was a little bit rocky in the first few minutes there," Alfredsson said. "But I thought it was a pretty good pace overall."
Kanata, ON -- Training camp kicked off Saturday for the Ottawa Senators, with three teams taking the ice at the Bell Sensplex for practices and a scrimmage.
Daniel Alfredsson headed up Team Kyte (each squad is named after an Ottawa alumnus) and appeared to be skating well after recovering from off-season back surgery.
"I felt good," Alfredsson said. "I felt better than I expected, so that's good. It was a good first day and I'm real happy with it."
The Senators' captain demonstrated that he still has wheels in the Team Kyte practice, when he blew past defenceman Sergei Gonchar in a two-on-one drill. Stephane Da Costa, who showed his own speed during the Oshawa Rookie Tournament, also struggled to keep up with the 38-year-old veteran.
OSHAWA, Ontario – The Oshawa Rookie Tournament wrapped up on Tuesday night with the Battle of Ontario, and the Ottawa Senators outlasting Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-3 overtime tilt.
Mark Stone scored the winner for the Senators after the Leafs tied the score in the final minute of regulation with goaltender Mark Owuya pulled for an extra attacker.
“We talked today about introducing these young players to the rivalry,” Ottawa prospects coach Kurt Kleinendorst said. "Say what you want, you can sense it out there … there’s just something to these games. There’s just not a whole lot of 'like' out there between either team.”
The Senators continued to press, when Louie Caporusso gained control of the puck behind the net, and passed it off to Jakub Culek in the slot. Culek then wristed the puck past Owuya, putting the Sens up 2-0.
As the third period began, the Senators found themselves down a man when Sondre Olden beat a screened Lehner from the top of the face-off circle. However, Ottawa countered when Shane Prince dished the puck to Mika Zibanejad, who quickly flicked a nifty backhand into the net.
Two minutes into the extra frame, it was the Senators having the last laugh when Stone skated in alone through the slot, and rocketed the winning shot past Owuya. Stone was all smiles as he tried to recall the moment.
“I just remember getting the puck at the blue line and having a clear lead to the net,” Stone said. “I was looking to feed it and grab it back-door, but the defenseman, he bit real hard. So I had a clear lane and I just put it in the back of the net.”
OSHAWA, Ontario -- The Battle of Ontario – a smaller version of it, at least – has been the talk of the Oshawa Rookie Tournament.
Fans have been waiting for the division rivalry to simmer to its boiling point once more, after both of the big clubs have struggled in the standings in the past few seasons. The infamous grudges have somewhat lost the sparkle.
However, with both teams at 2-0 heading into Tuesday’s final game, Senators and Leafs fans actually have a chance to watch their clubs fight for all the marbles. Yes, it’s a Rookie Tournament, but it’s a sign that there may finally be something to cheer about in Ontario once more.
"I thought we played well in every game," Chicago prospects coach Ted Dent said. "We had the day off yesterday and did a team outing, and I think we had fresh legs from the get-go."
The Hawks and Penguins were knotted at 0-0 at the end of the first period, with the best chance coming from Shawn Lalonde, when he cut in from the left half-wall and tried to put a quick wrister past Maxime Lagace.
In the second period, the Blackhawks found the back of the net three times. The first goal came courtesy of Mark McNeill, their 2011 first-round pick, as he swung out from behind the Pittsburgh net and pushed the puck between Lagace's pads.
Byron Froese got on the scoresheet for the first time in this tournament, with a one-timer from Joe Lavin during 4-on-4 play. The third Chicago goal came late in the second, as Andrew Shaw charged in alone and snapped a shot past Lagace’s glove. David Toews and Lavin each picked up an assist.
Chicago continued to pile on in the third, with Phillip Danault putting a backhand between Lagace's pads.
OSHAWA, Ontario -- If you came to the Oshawa Rookie Tournament to see Blackhawks' prospects Dylan Olsen or Jeremy Morin, you were largely out of luck.
Olsen played on Saturday against the Senators, but was held out of the last two games.
"He had a little bit of (lower-body) muscle soreness," Chicago prospects coach Ted Dent said. "He skated a little bit on Monday with the goalies, but he decided not to push it. We just want to let him get ready for the Blackhawks' training camp."
OSHAWA, Ont. – Monday was an off-day at the Oshawa Rookie Tournament, with the Senators, Penguins and Blackhawks taking light practices, while Toronto stuck to an off-ice workout. Updates regarding injuries and lineups won't be made available before Tuesday.
Through two days of tournament play, the Blackhawks' Brandon Saad leads all players in scoring with 3 goals and 2 assists. The Senators' Corey Cowick is second, with 3 goals and an assist.
Standouts in net thus far have been the Maple Leafs' Garret Sparks and the Senators' Robin Lehner. Sparks split the backstopping duties with Mark Owuya on Saturday, but was awarded the win against the Blackhawks. Sparks also started Sunday and stood tall for Toronto, when the team faced off against Pittsburgh.
Lehner has played one game for Ottawa, but sparkled in a shutout of Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.
Oshawa, ON – Whenever the Maple Leafs are playing in the Oshawa rookie tournament, you'll soon discover that "Heard is the Word."
T-shirts sported by fans with the "Heard is the Word" slogan have been seen at both Toronto games this weekend. The shirts are the brainchild of Mitchell's mother, Sheri. According to her, they have been a huge hit.
"I've already sold 80," she said. "I could have easily sold 200 – people keep asking for them."
The gear is being snapped up by Heard's fans from his hometown of Bowmanville, ON. Heard has already given them something to cheer about on Sunday night, scoring his first goal of the tournament against Pittsburgh. The Toronto prospect definitely appreciates the support.
"He loves it when everyone comes out," Sheri said. "I'm so proud of him."
OSHAWA, Ontario -- Chicago's Jeremy Morin is one of the Blackhawks' top prospects, and fans are looking forward to seeing him.
As of Sunday, they were still waiting.
Morin has sat the past two games, due to a coaching decision here at the Oshawa rookie tournament and has not been made available to the media.
Morin was one of the final cuts during last season's training camp in Chicago, but was called up from Rockford multiple times throughout the season, eventually playing in a total of nine games for the big club. He is expected to make a solid push again this year.
OSHAWA, Ontario -- Blackhawks fans in attendance at Saturday night's game got their first look at Chicago's second Toews.
In a move announced on Friday, David Toews, the 21-year-old younger brother of Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, was obtained by the Blackhawks from the New York Islanders for future considerations. It was an exciting night for David, as he donned the Blackhawks' infamous sweater for the first time.
"It was great," Toews said. "I've been looking forward to this for a couple of days since I got the call and I had to be flown out here. It was exciting to get out there on the ice -- it was my first game in a few months. It was obviously not the result we wanted, but I think we had a lot of positives tonight and I'll take it into tomorrow."
OSHAWA, Ontario – The Maple Leafs played their first game Saturday night at Oshawa's rookie Tournament, and Toronto's faithful was out in full force.
The GM Centre was approximately 75 percent full for the evening game between the Leafs and Blackhawks, and the stands were drenched in blue and white. Nazem Kadri and Luke Schenn were some of the more popular names being sported on the backs of sweaters.
Youth is the order of the day in Toronto, with a team that is desperate to return to the playoffs. It's obvious that the fans are hungry to see their rookies succeed. A massive roar went up for Jamie Devane after his goal late in the first period, and the "Go Leafs go" chants followed not long after.
Cowick had two goals and an assist for the Sens. Cowick’s linemate, Derek Grant, also found the back of the net midway through the first period, while Andre Petersson helped put it away for Ottawa late in the third.
"I thought Corey played very well," Sens coach Kurt Kleinendorst said. "In fact, I would say that in the year now that I’ve spent with him, that’s about as good as I’ve seen him play. We put an ‘A’ on him for a reason. "
I think I'm lucky to be here and you definitely don't take very many things for granted, if you take anything for granted. I definitely put my family and my wife and my close family in perspective, that they're the most important thing in the world. I want to do whatever I can to play hockey, but like I said, under the right circumstances.
— Stars forward Rich Peverley to "The Musers" radio show on The Ticket 1310 AM in Dallas