|Antoine Vermette could fill in for Chris Kelly on a line with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley if he cannot play due to an upper body injury. Photo: OSHC|
by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators will get a boost tomorrow when they head into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup quarter-final series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Defenceman Wade Redden will be back in the lineup.
Redden flew home on Sunday morning after his mother, 57-year-old Pat Redden, died of cancer on Saturday evening. Redden didn't play in Game 2, which the Senators lost 4-3 to Tampa Bay Sunday night. The all-star blue-liner has decided to fly into Tampa tonight, however, and re-join his teammates for Game 3.
"This is something he wants to do," said Senators head coach Bryan Murray. "It's something his family wants him to do. He's a big plus, obviously. It's a major crisis that happened in his life. He's a young man who's close to his family. He cares so much for this hockey team. I believe he'll come in and do his best."
Chris Phillips, who served as alternate captain in Redden's absence on Sunday, admires the dedication of his teammate.
"He's such a big part of this team. He's a key guy on the power play and on special teams."
For goaltender Ray Emery, it'll be nice to have another composed blue-liner skating in front of him.
"Definitely, he's a key asset. We like having Reds in the lineup, he's a good player."
On the injury front, forward Chris Kelly (upper body) will be a game-day decision. Kelly didn't skate at practice today, and speedster Antoine Vermette filled in his spot on a line with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. Kelly will remain in Ottawa tonight for treatment but is expected to join the team in Tampa tomorrow.
Tyler Arnason will dress if Kelly cannot play.