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Nilsson, Hainsey sidelined for Senators

Goalie has concussion, defenseman out until after Christmas with lower-body injury @NHLdotcom

Anders Nilsson has a concussion and defenseman Ron Hainsey will be out for the Ottawa Senators until after Christmas because of a lower-body injury.

The goalie was a late scratch Thursday with what the Senators called an illness; backup Marcus Hogberg started and made 33 saves in Ottawa's 5-4 overtime victory against the Nashville Predators at Canadian Tire Centre. Nilsson is 9-9-2 this season with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. He hasn't played since a 6-1 loss at the Florida Panthers on Monday.

"He wasn't feeling good on the Florida trip," Senators coach D.J. Smith said. "It was more flu-related, we thought, so we're not sure if he got hit with a puck or what the case may be. But they deemed that it is head-related starting yesterday afternoon."

General manager Pierre Dorion told TSN 1200 that Nilsson would be placed on injured reserve.

Smith wouldn't say whether Hogberg or Craig Anderson would start when the Senators host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, TVAS2, NBCSP+, NHL.TV). Anderson has been out with a knee injury sustained against the Flyers on Dec. 7 and was placed on injured reserve two days later. The 38-year-old practiced Friday, and Smith said he is ready to return. Anderson is 5-8-0 with a 3.01 GAA and .901 save percentage in 16 games (14 starts) this season. 

"We haven't decided yet," Smith said. "[Anderson] was good today so I'll talk to [goaltending coach] Pierre [Groulx] and see how that goes, but we'll make that decision in the morning.

"I think goaltending has been one of our strengths this year for sure in spurts, whether it be Anderson or Nilsson or Hogberg. I don't have much concern there with a guy like [Anderson] coming back. He's plenty capable."

Hainsey was injured during the first period of the victory against the Predators, Smith said.

"He just kind of slipped on a 2-on-1 and got his leg stuck in the ice," Smith said of the 38-year-old defenseman, who has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 36 games this season. "I think adrenaline allowed him to come back, but after getting up this morning it's probably more of a week-to-10 days thing. We're hopeful that he'll be back on the 28th, but he's been really good for us and it's a big loss. It's an opportunity for someone else to step up and eat those minutes."

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