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Alfredsson making early return?

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
They're excited about a pair of new faces that will join the lineup.

But the Ottawa Senators might get an unexpected lift by the possible early return of the most familiar one of them all.

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will take the pre-game warmup before this afternoon's matchup with the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre (3 p.m., CBC, Team 1200). The game also marks the official arrival of centre Mike Comrie and defenceman Chris Campoli, who were obtained in a deal Friday with the New York Islanders in exchange for veteran forward Dean McAmmond and a draft pick.

Alfredsson, who suffered a hairline fracture of his jaw earlier this week against the Colorado Avalanche, had said Thursday he believed he'd be out of action for at least a week. But head coach Cory Clouston didn't rule out the possibility his captain might play today.

"We'll wait and see," Clouston said earlier this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Comrie and Campoli both can't wait to hit the ice with the Senators. For Comrie, it marks a return to the team he helped reach the Stanley Cup final in 2007.

"It's a great day," said Comrie, who previously played for Clouston when the Senators coach was an assistant with the Kootenay Ice. "I'm excited and I want to get out on the ice right now.

"Hopefully, Chris and I can come in and add some scoring and some depth. The team's got some great players, so maybe we can chip in and help win some games."

Added Campoli: "It's really going to be exciting. I'm playing in a place now where hockey is everything. The attention, it's going to be crazy. The passion for the game ... it's Hockey Day in Canada today and I've never been a part of anything like that. I've never even played on Hockey Night in Canada, so it'll be fun."

Clouston is convinced he'll put a better team on the ice today with his new acquisitions in the lineup.

"We believe so, for sure ... otherwise, we wouldn't have made the deal," he said. "I think they bring a lot more speed and skill than maybe we've had. Mike had a lot of success here (in 2007) and Chris, we hope he brings us a lot more offensively."

Brian Elliott makes the start in goal for the Senators.

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