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At the Rink: Senators at Lightning

by Corey Long

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman will likely make his return to the lineup Saturday night at Amalie Arena against the Ottawa Senators.

Hedman, who has been out with a fractured wrist since Oct. 18, participated in the optional skate Saturday and said he's ready to get back on the ice.

"I want to get back out there and hopefully pick up where I left off," Hedman said. "The last word is up to the coaches, but hopefully they put me in."

Hedman said he has been skating hard for several weeks now and should be able to roll out for a full allotment of shifts. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said it will be tough to know how much Hedman can do until he starts playing.

"Clearly he was playing as well as he had been playing in his career," Cooper said. "It was just a five-game sample, but he was taking that next step. He's got to get in and maybe his timing might be a little off, but he's a welcome addition."

The Lightning opened up a roster spot by trading Eric Brewer to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday for a 2015 third-round draft choice.

"We're going to miss him in the room because he was a veteran guy," Cooper said. "In saying that, it wasn't fair to him to be sitting as much as he was. It hurts our depth a little short-term, but it was the best thing for a guy that earned the right to be on the ice."

The Senators will likely put Robin Lehner in goal Saturday as they are playing the second half of back-to-back games. Lehner had 38 saves against the Lightning in a 3-2 win on Oct. 11.

Ottawa will be without forward Bobby Ryan who will miss the game Saturday with a broken finger after being slashed in a 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday. Ryan has five goals and eight assists in 21 games this season.

The Senators have lost three of their past four games (1-2-1).

Here are the projected lineups:


Clarke MacArthurKyle TurrisAlex Chiasson

Mike HoffmanZack SmithMika Zibanejad

Erik CondraDavid LegwandChris Neil

Milan MichalekCurtis LazarMark Stone

Chris PhillipsErik Karlsson

Jared CowenCody Ceci

Mark BorowieckiEric Gryba

Robin Lehner

Craig Anderson

Scratched: Colin Greening, Patrick Wiercioch

Injured: Marc Methot (back/hip), Bobby Ryan (broken finger)


Valtteri Filppula - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Jonathan Drouin - Brett Connolly - Alex Killorn

Brenden Morrow - Brian Boyle - Cedric Paquette

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Andrej Sustr - Matthew Carle

Jason Garrison - Radko Gudas

Ben Bishop

Evgeni Nabokov

Scratched: Mark Barberio, J.T. Brown, Vladislav Namestnikov

Who's hot: Callahan scored two goals in a 4-3 win against the New York Rangers on Wednesday. … Neil had a goal and an assist in the 3-2 loss to the Panthers.

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