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Senators' Spezza out for second straight game

by Sean Farrell

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza will not be in the lineup Wednesday against the New York Islanders (7 p.m. ET, TSN).

Spezza took part in the morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre, but will miss his second consecutive game after sitting out Ottawa's 2-1 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

The 30-year-old center sustained a lower-body injury during the third period of the Senators' 6-3 win against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

"I tweaked something a little bit and I think they felt it best to give it a little bit of time," said Spezza, who has 19 goals and 42 assists in 69 games.

Spezza alternated with Mika Zibanejad on line rushes with Ales Hemsky and Milan Michalek on Wednesday. He said he felt pretty good but would be a game-time decision.

Senators coach Paul MacLean ruled Spezza out shortly afterwards.

"I'm hopeful for Friday now, but [Wednesday] was the first day he skated, so we'll see how he is [Thursday] and Friday," MacLean said. "We'll take it day by day."

Defenseman Jared Cowen and left wing Colin Greening also remain sidelined each by a lower-body injury, so Ottawa will go with the same lineup as Monday.

The Senators have revived their faint Stanley Cup Playoff hopes with a three-game winning streak and nine of a possible 10 points in their past five games (4-0-1). Ottawa is five points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot with seven games remaining.

The Islanders also are on a 4-0-1 run, including a 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday when rookie left wing Mike Halmo scored his first NHL goal.

"It's good to have guys that work extremely hard find their game within our game and our structure, and get rewarded for that," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "And I thought that [there was] good excitement for him getting his first goal, and especially for the guys on the bench. You like to see guys get rewarded for their hard work."

Here are the probable lineups for the Islanders and Senators:


Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Anders Lee

John Persson - Brock Nelson - Cal Clutterbuck

Matt Martin - Ryan Strome - Colin McDonald

Mike Halmo - Casey Cizikas - Johan Sundstrom

Travis Hamonic - Calvin de Haan

Thomas Hickey - Kevin Czuczman

Matt Donovan - Matt Carkner

Anders Nilsson

Evgeni Nabokov

Scratched: Radek Martinek, Eric Boulton

Injured: Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion), Kyle Okposo (lower body), Brian Strait (hand), Michael Grabner (concussion), John Tavares (knee)


Milan Michalek - Mika Zibanejad - Ales Hemsky

Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Matt Kassian - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Erik Condra

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Chris Phillips - Eric Gryba

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Injured: Jason Spezza (lower body), Colin Greening (lower body), Jared Cowen (lower body), Bobby Ryan (sports hernia surgery)

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