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.
This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.
— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens