LOS ANGELES -- Jason Spezza appeared fine in the morning skate Wednesday, a day after he went through a full practice. So it was with slight surprise that the Ottawa Senators captain said he wouldn't play Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings because of his sore groin.
"We're going to err on the side of caution. Just to make sure, I guess," Spezza said. "They're worried that by taking the extra game [Wednesday] it gives me a few extra days and hopefully I'll never have to talk about my groin ever again."
Spezza smiled when asked if he had to be talked into sitting out. Ottawa doesn't play again until Saturday at the San Jose Sharks.
"We had some good discussions this morning, and just decided it's the best move for the team," Spezza said. "It's the best move to make sure this gets healed, goes away. It's gotten better. It's improved. We're trying to make sure it's a non-subject moving forward."
Spezza, who missed all but five regular-season games in 2012-13 because of back surgery, originally hurt himself in training camp and played two preseason games. He had told reporters that it hindered his play in the early season.
"We just felt that giving him three more days before we play in San Jose gives him a real good opportunity to work with [trainers] and to feel that it gets stronger and stronger every day and that he'll be out of the woods come Saturday," Ottawa coach Paul McLean said.
McLean said he will plug Stephane Da Costa into Spezza's spot.
Here is how the rest of the lineup likely will look for the Senators:
Milan Michalek - Stephane Da Costa - Bobby Ryan
Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Cory Conacher
Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Matt Kassian - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Erik Condra
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Patrick Wiercioch
Chris Phillips - Joe Corvo
Scratched: Eric Gryba
Injured: Jason Spezza (groin)