OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators hit the ice Tuesday for the first time since the end of the regular season, but there were two key pieces missing.
Defenseman Chris Phillips and forward Milan Michalek did not skate, but coach Paul MacLean said the veterans were taking maintenance days and were expected to practice Wednesday in Montreal. Their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Canadiens starts Thursday at Bell Centre.
With Michalek out, Colin Greening skated on left wing with Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson. Mika Zibanejad centered the second line between Guillaume Latendresse and Jakob Silfverberg, and Zack Smith was on the third line between Matt Kassian and Chris Neil. Jean-Gabriel Pageau centered the fourth line with Cory Conacher and Erik Condra on the wings. Peter Regin appears to be the extra forward.
Defensively, MacLean said he still has to make a decision between Eric Gryba and Patrick Wiercioch for Game 1 on Thursday. They skated as a pair Tuesday.
"They’ve both played very well for us," MacLean said. "They both bring a different element. Gryba is more physical; Wiercioch plays more of a puck-moving game. We haven't made a final determination on that yet, but we feel both of them are going to have an opportunity to play."