The Ottawa Senators announced Monday that center Jason Spezza would not travel with the team for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, instead remaining in Ottawa ton continue his rehabilitation from back surgery.
Spezza had surgery Feb. 1 to repair a herniated disc. On May 10 he began skating with the team's "black aces," its extra players, with the hope he could return to the team at some point in the series.
In five games this season, Spezza had two goals and three assists. His last game was Jan. 27.
It was kind of touching. I didn't know really what to expect. I'm very appreciative and thankful for the people that supported me in my time here ... as I said, we'll move back to the area at some point in our life.
— Toronto coach Randy Carlyle on the video tribute and ovation he received in his first game back in Anaheim, a 3-1 win for the Maple Leafs