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Benoit, Latendresse back in for Senators

by Chris Adamski

PITTSBURGH -- After sitting and watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the past two weeks, Andre Benoit and Guillaume Latendresse are eager to make an impact for the Ottawa Senators.

Coach Paul MacLean confirmed both will be in the lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

Benoit replaces defenseman Eric Gryba, who left what ultimately was a 4-1 Penguins victory in Game 1 on Tuesday because of an upper-body injury. Latendresse was taking line rushes in practice the past two days in place of Matt Kassian on the left wing of Ottawa's third line with Zack Smith and Chris Neil.

Benoit and Latendresse have been healthy scratches since Game 2 of the first-round series win against the Montreal Canadiens. Before Tuesday, that had been the only game the Senators lost this postseason.

"All I could do is work hard every day so I'd be ready when they asked me," Latendresse said. "Just work hard in the practices and be the best I can out there to show them my head is in a good spot.

"Everyone in the room wants to win, and I want to win too. I'll do all I can to help the guys."

Benoit appeared in 33 games this season after playing in eight NHL games prior to that in his career. He had an assist in his lone career Stanley Cup Playoff game May 3.

"I just want to bring my game -- try to be a stable defenseman and if I get a chance to move up in the play, that's what I'll do," Benoit said. "I'll just kind of do what I've always been doing."

Here is the projected lineup for the Senators:

Cory Conacher - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson

Milan Michalek - Mika Zibanejad - Jakob Silfverberg

Guillaume Latendresse - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Colin Greening - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Erik Condra

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Chris Phillips - Sergei Gonchar

Jared Cowen - Andre Benoit

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Mike Hoffman, Matt Kassian, Mike Lundin, Peter Regin, Mark Stone

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

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