OTTAWA -- After missing three games with a concussion, Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is ready to return to the lineup for Game 6 of his team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers on Monday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).
Alfredsson was injured midway through Game 2 when he was elbowed in the head by the Rangers' Carl Hagelin.
"I feel good," Alfredsson said. "[Sunday] went well, and I expected to feel good. I'm looking forward to [Monday]."
Alfredsson knows his return will be noted by the Rangers, but doesn't feel like coming back from injury makes him a target.
"I don't think I'm any more of a target than anyone else," he said. "I can't put a stop sign on the back of my jersey. I think everyone knows that if you're going to play in the playoffs, you're going to be expected to be treated the same as everyone else. I feel physically fine to be able to handle the physical play."
The captain downplayed the fact that his re-joining the team coincides with the Senators' first chance to close the series. Ottawa currently leads the best-of-seven matchup 3-2.
"It's just another game," Alfredsson said. "As you go deeper into series, the magnitude gets bigger and bigger -- we expect nothing but the best from the Rangers, and we're going to have to play our best, battle for 60 [minutes] or whatever it's going to take."
Coach Paul MacLean said he's grateful to have his team's leader back in the lineup, and hopes he can help out on special teams.
"[Alfredsson] is the captain, he's been here a long time, I think it means a lot to us to have him back in the lineup," MacLean said. "I think he can make the power play better, and just having him in there is going to be a good shot for our team."
Added Jason Spezza: "[Alfredsson] is our leader and we tried to hold things up pretty well while he was away, but we're always happiest when he's out on the ice with us."
It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun.
— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday