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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Penguins vs Senators

Senators' Gryba skates, but not ready to return

Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 1:30 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / Penguins-Senators series blog

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba skated with his teammates Wednesday for the first time since taking a big hit from Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

Gryba will not play in Game 4 Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS), but he was happy to take this first step toward an eventual return to the lineup.

"It was a relief to get back out there and not be stuck in the gym," Gryba said.

Gryba has had an eventful Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Senators, first getting suspended for two games for his hit on Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller in the first round, then being hurt on the big collision with Orpik near the Penguins' blue line in Game 1.

Gryba said he had no problem with the hit from Orpik.

"I watched it. It was a clean hit. That's hockey," Gryba said. "I looked at it a bunch of times and there's nothing I can find wrong with it."

Gryba also acknowledged the irony of him being knocked out with an injury on an open-ice hit near the neutral zone after he did the same to Eller in the first round.

"That's what I get for having my head down in the neutral zone," he said. "I guess you live by the sword, you die by the sword."

Gryba has no points and 17 penalty minutes in four Stanley Cup Playoff games.

While he remains sidelined, one player entering the lineup is rookie forward Mark Stone, who will play in place of Cory Conacher.

Here is the Senators' projected lineup:

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Mark Stone

Jakob Silfverberg - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson

Zack Smith - Mika Zibanejad - Chris Neil

Colin Greening - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Erik Condra

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar

Andre Benoit - Chris Phillips

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Guillaume Latendresse, Cory Conacher, Mike Lundin, Jim O'Brien, Peter Regin

Injured: Eric Gryba (upper body), Patrick Wiercioch (lower body)

LNH.com Managing Editor Arpon Basu and NHL.com correspondent Erin Nicks contributed to this report

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery