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Posted On Friday, 04.04.2014 / 2:04 PM

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

Spezza back as Senators face must-win vs. Montreal

OTTAWA -- The Montreal Canadiens have an opportunity to enhance their bid for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday against the Ottawa Senators, who will have captain Jason Spezza back in the lineup.

As a bonus, Montreal can deal an all-but-final blow to Ottawa's playoff hopes and exact a measure of revenge for its first-round loss to the Senators last spring.

"It's not something we've really talked about," Canadiens forward Daniel Briere said. "You know it's always big games against Ottawa. Rivalries get created in the playoffs, mostly, so there's some hatred between the two teams, and it's a good thing for us at this point. There's only five games left, but we don't want to let ourselves go and just coast through the last five games.

"A game like tonight, knowing that it's going to be intense, knowing that these guys are fighting for their lives, we'll have to be ready. If we're not, we're going to get outplayed, so it's a good thing to have a game like this tonight."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 12:43 PM

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

Senators' Spezza out for second straight game

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza will not be in the lineup Wednesday against the New York Islanders (7 p.m. ET, TSN).

Spezza took part in the morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre, but will miss his second consecutive game after sitting out Ottawa's 2-1 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

The 30-year-old center sustained a lower-body injury during the third period of the Senators' 6-3 win against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

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Posted On Monday, 03.31.2014 / 12:34 PM

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

Senators' Spezza, Cowen out vs. Hurricanes

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza and defenseman Jared Cowen will miss the game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

Spezza and Cowen each sustained lower-body injuries Sunday during Ottawa's 6-3 win against the Calgary Flames.

The Senators play the third of a five-game homestand Monday, their third game in four days. They host the New York Islanders on Wednesday to begin another run of three games in four days, closing out the homestand against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday followed by a game Saturday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"We're trying to keep as many guys healthy as we can to get through the games, but we anticipate by the weekend that we should have both of them available," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said of Spezza and Cowen. "I think they're both probable for the Islanders game, but at the same time it's probably more realistic for the weekend against Montreal."

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Posted On Sunday, 03.30.2014 / 4:30 PM

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

Lehner gets start for Senators against Flames

OTTAWA -- Robin Lehner will start in goal for the Ottawa Senators against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Lehner will make his eighth start in nine games despite Craig Anderson's 46-save effort Friday in Ottawa's 5-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Anderson had not started since Mar. 10, when he sustained an upper-body injury in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators.

The Senators, who host the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, began a five-game homestand Friday and are in the midst of a stretch of six games in nine days.

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Posted On Friday, 03.28.2014 / 12:58 PM

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

Goaltender Anderson returns for Senators

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan underwent successful surgery in Montreal on Thursday to repair a sports hernia, coach Paul MacLean revealed after practice on Friday.

"He should be fine to train any way that he needs to this summer, and that's an important part of getting it done now," MacLean said.

Senators goaltender Craig Anderson will make his first start in eight games against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Anderson backed up Robin Lehner for Ottawa's past two games against the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning after missing the previous five games because of an upper-body injury he sustained on March 10.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 2:21 PM

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

Lightning starting to see Stamkos at best again

OTTAWA -- If center Steven Stamkos isn't all the way back to the condition he was in before his broken leg, the Tampa Bay Lightning are just fine with what he has delivered through his first seven games back in the lineup, especially the past four.

Stamkos and the Lightning are in fine form as they prepare to play the second game on their three-game road trip Thursday against the Ottawa Senators.

Tampa Bay, which has 13 games remaining, has ridden a four-game winning streak to a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division with the Montreal Canadiens. Each has 83 points and the Lightning have a game in hand.

Stamkos had a natural hat trick Wednesday in a 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 1:31 PM

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

Senators stick with Lehner as Anderson gets closer

OTTAWA -- Goaltender Robin Lehner will make his third start in a row for the Ottawa Senators against theNew York Rangers on Tuesday with Craig Anderson still sidelined by an upper-body injury.

Ottawa is winless in its past three, a skid that began eight days ago with a 4-3 overtime loss against theNashville Predators. Anderson was hurt by defenseman Shea Weber's slap shot to his left shoulder but remained in the game. He left in the third period after a collision with teammate Milan Michalek.

"He practiced [Tuesday], which is very positive, but he's not going to play [Tuesday night]. He's not going to dress [Tuesday night]," Senators coach Paul MacLean said of Anderson. "I was encouraged by the fact he was on the ice."

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Posted On Sunday, 03.16.2014 / 4:48 PM

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

Senators' Anderson remains sidelined vs. Avalanche

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators have an opportunity to put a crushing overtime loss behind them when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Ottawa gave up three goals to the Montreal Canadiens in the final 3:22 of regulation Saturday to blow a 4-1 lead. The Senators, who face an uphill climb to get into playoff contention, had to settle for one point after Montreal scored its fourth straight goal in overtime for a stunning 5-4 come-from-behind win.

Ottawa (28-25-13) is in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with 69 points, seven points out of the second and final wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Monday, 03.10.2014 / 2:42 PM

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

Trotz wants struggling Predators to 'stay the course'

OTTAWA -- Both the Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators are on the outside looking in at the Stanley Cup Playoff picture.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz recognizes Ottawa has a better vantage point at the moment on playing later into April as the two teams get ready for their game Monday at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Predators arrive in Canada's capital on a four-game losing streak and with one win in their past eight games (1-5-2). Nashville (26-28-10) is last in the Central Division with 62 points and 12th in the Western Conference, 10 points behind the Dallas Stars, who currently hold the second wild-card spot.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 1:54 PM

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

Alfredsson all business as Red Wings visit Senators

OTTAWA -- Daniel Alfredsson caught up once more with Erik Karlsson at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday. With the Detroit Red Wings facing the Ottawa Senators for the fourth time since Alfredsson left Karlsson and the Canadian capital behind to play in Motown, it's all business this time around.

"We always have a good time together, but this is a division game with playoff implications," Alfredsson said about seeing Karlsson, his former Senators protégé and teammate on Sweden's silver medal-winning team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, prior to his second game back in Ottawa. "I think everybody knows it's going to be a tight race all the way until the end, and you play teams that are right around you; it's important games, so I'm not looking to go out there and have fun, it's just go out there, get the job done and get the two points."

Alfredsson was welcomed back by Senators fans in Detroit's first game in Ottawa on Dec. 1. He was given a huge ovation during a pregame video tribute, and then went out and scored an empty-net goal to seal a 4-2 win for the Red Wings.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic