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Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 1:28 PM

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

Phillips out again for Senators against Sabres

OTTAWA -- Chris Phillips will miss his sixth straight game when the Ottawa Senators play the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, and it doesn't look promising for the veteran defenseman to return Saturday for the Senators' final game before the NHL breaks for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Phillips, who is out with a lower-body injury, missed three games earlier this season. Chosen No. 1 by Ottawa in the 1996 NHL Draft, the 35-year-old missed a total of three games over the previous six seasons after a knee injury sidelined him for the final 11 games of 2005-06.

"He doesn't miss games," Senators captain Jason Spezza said. "It was surprising not to see him on the plane the other day. You know when [Phillips] misses games that he's really hurt. He's a guy that's always been a professional and always showed up and played through a lot of injuries."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 2:00 PM

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

Bishop sees last season's Senators in his Lightning

OTTAWA -- Steven Stamkos was on the ice again for the Tampa Bay Lightning's morning skate Thursday ahead of the game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

With Stamkos attempting to recover from a broken right leg in hopes of being able to play for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said he understands the scrutiny of his center's health at every stop the Lightning make in a Canadian city.

"He's battling to get through and I guess you can't rush the genetics, the healing process and everything that goes on, but every day it gets another day closer," Cooper said. "Eventually it's going to have to come down to a situation where he's going to have to start battling with guys in the corner just to see how those instinctive movements go and is he going to feel it, because he can do all the crossovers he wants out there and have fun and go up and down without those battles, but that's where it's going to come into play and so eventually it's going to have to happen here soon because we're running out of time.

"The one thing we've said from the beginning, though, he will not put his health at risk to go to the Olympics. I know that's his top priority, to make sure he goes over there, but his health will override that."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 2:43 PM

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

Neil returns for Ottawa against Rangers

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators right wing Chris Neil will be back in the lineup for the game against the New York Rangers on Saturday (2 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC).

Neil originally was supposed to return from a lower-body injury Thursday but was a late scratch from Ottawa's 5-4 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

The 34-year-old Neil has missed the Senators' past six games. He has not played since he was injured Dec. 30 in a collision with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

Left wing Matt Kassian will be left out of the lineup, which otherwise remains unchanged from the squad coach Paul MacLean dressed Thursday.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 7:56 PM

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

Neil not playing for Senators against Canadiens

Chris Neil
Right Wing - OTT
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 6
SOG: 54 | +/-: -5
OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators right wing Chris Neil was left out of the lineup for the game against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said after the morning skate that Neil would return to the lineup against Montreal. He missed his sixth straight game Thursday; left wing Matt Kassian drew into the lineup.

Neil, 34, has not played since he sustained a lower-body injury on Dec. 30 in a collision with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

Neil, who leads Ottawa with 99 penalty minutes, has five goals and one assist in 42 games.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 2:25 PM

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

Neil to return to Senators lineup

Right wing Chris Neil will return to the Ottawa Senators' lineup for the game against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Neil missed Ottawa's past five games after sustaining a lower-body injury Dec. 30 when he collided with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

Canadiens center David Desharnais will be a game-time decision. He was a late scratch with the flu Tuesday in Montreal's 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 4:20 PM

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

Canadiens' Subban grateful for chance to go to Sochi

BROSSARD, Que. -- For months, P.K. Subban has been the subject of much discussion and debate by Canadian hockey pundits and fans about whether he would be invited to take part in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

On Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens defenseman got the call he and his boosters were hoping for.

Subban was named to Canada's Olympic team along with Montreal teammate Carey Price, bolstering to eight the number of Canadiens who will represent their respective countries in Sochi.

Montreal defensemen Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin were named Tuesday to represent Russia, which will host its first Olympic Winter Games. Canadiens backup goalie Peter Budaj was named to Slovakia's Olympic team.


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Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 2:20 PM

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

Gudbranson ready for Panthers, pairs with Jovanovski

MONTREAL -- Erik Gudbranson will return to the Florida Panthers' lineup Monday against the Montreal Canadiens.

Gudbranson missed Florida's previous five games because of a broken orbital bone. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound defenseman had surgery after sustaining the injury on Dec. 20 when he was struck in the face by a puck in a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

He wore a full-face cage on his helmet at the Panthers' morning skate at Bell Centre.

"I was told it was a two-, three-week recovery, so it's two weeks [Monday]," Gudbranson said. "I feel ready to go, so it's fun to play. I'm excited to play. If I was worried, I wouldn't play. Obviously I'm wearing that cage for a reason. It's for safety and that'll certainly help me out. That'll ease my mind with it, but going out and playing my game shouldn't be an issue."

Gudbranson, who turns 22 on Tuesday, was partnered with Florida captain Ed Jovanovski, who made his season debut Saturday in a 5-4 shootout win against the Nashville Predators.

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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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Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday