The Ottawa Senators could have veteran wingers Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Schaefer back in the lineup when they face the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena tomorrow. The decision on both Schaefer, who is out with an eye infection, and Alfredsson, out with a hip injury, won't be certain until after tomorrow morning's skate, but Senators head coach Bryan Murray is optimistic they'll be back in the lineup.
"Schaefer told me he was going to play. Whether the eye was better or not, he wanted to play," Murray said after practice today. "It sounds like Alfie has a chance to play. I haven't talked to him in length but I will in the morning.... after the skate he can decide if he can go 100 per cent or not."
Alfredsson was excited with his performance at practice this afternoon.
"I felt pretty good today," Alfredsson said. "I'll probably let the coach know tomorrow that I am available or not. If it feels as good as it did today, I'm playing."
As the team looks to close out its current four-game road trip, which stands at 1-2-0, Murray knows both players can help the team return to Ottawa with a .500 record.
"Good players affect every team," Murray said. "(Nashville's) Steve Sullivan comes back last night and he gets three goals. If he's not in the lineup, it's only 3-0, maybe. Good players make everybody around them better."
Senators defenceman Chris Phillips was asked if he expects his team to bounce back against Buffalo after its 6-0 loss to Nashville on Thursday.
"I sure do," Phillips said. "We certainly want to have a better showing after what happened last game and salvage this road trip with a .500 record and head back home."