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Hard work will pay off for big line

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
From left, Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley are working hard to rediscover the magic they experienced last season. Photo: T. Anderson/OSHC

by Todd Anderson

The Ottawa Senators' top three offensive threats know it's just a matter of time before they start putting the puck in opposing nets again.

Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley have combined for nine points in five games so far this season, but the trio is working hard to bust out and start providing much more. Based on last season's stats -- Heatley and Alfredsson had 103 points and Spezza had 90 -- they know they can be successful.

"For us to win consistently, (the line) has to be a big part of it," Alfredsson says. "We just have to keep working hard. We have to be better than we were the last game (a 3-2 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday)."

Spezza feels one or two goals could change the fortunes for himself, as well as his wingers.

"If we can start scoring and get some bounces, then we can play with a lead and force a team to take chances. We want to get things going here."

Head coach Bryan Murray is confident his star players will find their touch soon.

"We're going to get these guys going. They're all intelligent players," Murray says. "I guarantee you, once they score one or two goals, things are going to start happening for them.

"Skilled people have to be allowed to use their skill to make plays. What we're asking them though is to just not turn over the puck at the offensive blueline as often and to come back and help in their own end."

Heatley is looking forward to what he and his teammates can accomplish in practice this week before playing their next game on Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche.

"We have more time to think and to be ready for Thursday. We want to score. We want to help this team. We got two points last game (for the win), so we're happy. But (the line) didn't contribute offensively. All you can do is work hard to get out of it."

Corvo returns to practice
Defenceman Joe Corvo returned to practice with his teammates on Saturday. Recovering from a fractured right foot, Corvo hopes to return to game action this Thursday against the Avalanche or Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. He wants to be 100 per cent healthy before he returns, however.

"It's going alright," said Corvo about his recovery after today's practice. "Today I had a little difficulty pushing off (with his injured foot), but it's coming along."

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