Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza skated on his own before teammates took the ice at Scotiabank Place on Monday for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc earlier this month.
Spezza was projected to miss 6-8 weeks, which would put his earliest return around the end of March.
Spezza, who has two goals and five points in five games this season, has collected 228 goals and 621 points in 611 career games, all with the Senators. The Senators have won four straight and are sixth in the Eastern Conference with 24 points.
If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.
— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday