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Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 4:21 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators' Spezza to sit out again

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza will miss his third straight game when he sits out Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets because of a hip flexor injury.

Spezza revealed the nature of his injury after the team's morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre. He said he sustained the injury Saturday during Ottawa's 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins.

"I just kind of lost my balance at the start of the second period on the boards and as I was falling I kind of pulled something," Spezza said. "I finished the game and felt all right and thought I'd be fine the next day. Then I woke up and I was sore."

Spezza didn't have a timeline for his return but said he feels like he is making progress and doesn't expect it to be a long-term injury.

"We want to make sure that I squash it so that it's like anything, groins, hips, you don't want them to linger," Spezza said.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 2:58 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Ryan to use Olympic comments as motivation

OTTAWA -- Bobby Ryan's television viewing on New Year's Day got his 2014 off to a disappointing start.

The high-scoring Ottawa Senators right wing was watching Wednesday when the United States Olympic men's hockey team was unveiled at the end of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Unlike four years earlier, when a young hockey player sported a 2010 U.S. Olympic jersey with his name on the back at the end of the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston, Ryan did not make the final cut for the American team that will compete at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The team was introduced following the Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-2 shootout win against the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium.

"Ultimately they decided to go a different direction so I guess as a player you have to respect that, but at the same time I thought I played well enough to earn a spot. But I can't change it now," Ryan said Thursday after Ottawa's morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre prior to the Senators' game against the Winnipeg Jets.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 2:53 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Olympic spot 'surreal' for Jets' Wheeler

Blake Wheeler had more than a safe landing in Ottawa to celebrate Wednesday.

When the Winnipeg Jets arrived at their hotel in Canada's capital, Wheeler got a text message from his wife that he had made the United States Olympic team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"It's kind of surreal, to be honest," Wheeler said Thursday. "Just playing in the NHL was kind of above and beyond dreams that I had growing up. It was pretty special for myself and for my wife and my family, so it was a pretty big day."

Wheeler has 15 goals and 16 assists in 42 games.

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Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 2:34 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Capitals' Grubauer gets call for second straight night

OTTAWA -- A light workload the previous day against the Buffalo Sabres helped make it possible for Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer to earn a fourth straight start Monday against the Ottawa Senators.

Washington coach Adam Oates decided to start Grubauer on consecutive days after he stopped 16 of 17 shots Sunday in the Capitals' 2-1 shootout loss in Buffalo. The 22-year-old German rookie held the Sabres scoreless through the first five rounds of the tiebreaker before Steve Ott scored the winner on Buffalo's sixth attempt.

"I thought he played a really good game," Oates said. "We outshot them 50 to something, 15, 16, and he didn't have a lot of work chances-wise, and I think that he's got plenty of energy for tonight."

Braden Holtby has two starts in the Capitals' previous eight games.

"It's a long year and there's going to be plenty of opportunity," Oates said.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 6:52 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins' Chara, Senators' Spezza late scratches

OTTAWA -- Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza will not play due to injuries when the teams face off Saturday night.

Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips is also injured and will not play the second game of the home-and-home series between the Senators and Bruins at Canadian Tire Centre.


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Posted On Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 3:41 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins adjust after losing Seidenberg for season

OTTAWA -- Tuukka Rask's NHL-leading fourth shutout of the season Friday in the Boston Bruins' 5-0 win against the Ottawa Senators may have postponed Niklas Svedberg's first NHL start.

Now, an injury to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg definitely has.

Boston coach Claude Julien said he had made up his mind which goaltender would start the second game of the back-to-back set against Ottawa, but he was keeping that decision to himself.

Rask, Svedberg and backup Chad Johnson were all on the ice Saturday for the Bruins' optional skate at Canadian Tire Centre. However, Svedberg was sent back to Providence of the American Hockey League on Saturday afternoon when it was necessary for the Bruins to recall defenseman Zach Trotman to replace Seidenberg, who will be out for the season with a knee injury sustained Friday.

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Posted On Monday, 12.23.2013 / 1:42 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Crosby at forefront of Penguins' surge

OTTAWA -- Sidney Crosby was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week on Monday after the Pittsburgh Penguins captain led the way on offense during a stretch where the injury-plagued team's depth on defense was tested to its fullest.

Crosby had two goals and six assists in four games to extend his League scoring lead to 54 points, six ahead of Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Defensemen Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi and forward Tanner Glass, all on injured reserve, and suspended defenseman Deryk Engelland took part in Pittsburgh's morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday.

The Penguins have won 12 of 13 and will look to extend their seven-game winning streak when they face theOttawa Senators.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 2:50 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators preach consistency after being read riot act

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray read the riot act to his players Wednesday after a 5-2 road loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Ottawa fell to 14-16-6 after following a 3-2 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday with the loss to the Devils. It was the seventh straight time the Senators failed to win consecutive games, dating to a season-high three-game winning streak from Nov. 5-9.

Right wing Bobby Ryan said he and his teammates got a clear message from Murray in the Prudential Center dressing room.

"Ruling out all the expletives, 'Wake up!'" Ryan said after Ottawa held an optional skate Thursday. "Wake up and show up. I think what I took most out of it is that we can be the most maddening team he's ever seen. That's a team that shows up against St. Louis, plays a great hockey game, complete for 63 minutes, and then plays zero against a team like New Jersey."

Ottawa captain Jason Spezza said Murray did not deliver any ultimatums or threats, "but it's a definite understanding that if we don't start playing better it could be you out the door."

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Posted On Monday, 12.16.2013 / 2:52 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues make lineup adjustments for Senators

OTTAWA -- St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is going to wait as long as he can before deciding whether forwards Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka will play against the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

"They're both banged up, like a lot of guys on our team," Hitchcock said after neither St. Louis forward took part in the team's morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre.

Schwartz and Sobotka played Saturday in the Blues' 4-3 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets that began their two-game road trip.

"We went the other way against Columbus and neither guy was effective in the tail end of the game," Hitchcock said. "It's not starting the game, it's finishing the game. And for us, if we feel like we want them to finish the game, then we're going to have to give them as much rest as we can so that they're ready to go, so we opted not to skate them [Monday]."

Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester were split during the game against the Blue Jackets, resulting in new defensive pairings.

"Quite frankly we weren't playing very good," Hitchcock said. "We weren't playing very good defensively and we needed to make some adjustments."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.14.2013 / 1:35 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ottawa native Ceci gets second game with Senators

OTTAWA - Rookie defenseman Cody Ceci will get to play a second game in a row for the Ottawa Senators against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Ceci made his NHL debut Thursday in Ottawa's 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres. He finished plus-2 in 20:40 of ice time, which included time on the power play and penalty killing shifts.

The 19-year-old Ottawa native was recalled from Binghamton of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis Thursday to fill in for Marc Methot, who will miss his second straight game Saturday as he recovers from the flu.

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Quote of the Day

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— Islanders captain John Tavares