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Senators hopeful Alfie can play

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
The Senators might have to sail into the hostile waters at the Shark Tank without their captain.

Daniel Alfredsson didn’t practise with his Ottawa Senators teammates on Tuesday afternoon at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. He says he’ll wait until tomorrow before deciding whether he’ll suit up against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion in the second game of their four-game western road trip.

Alfredsson was cross-checked just below the ribs by Anaheim defenceman François Beauchamin during the third period of Ottawa’s 3-1 loss to the Ducks on Monday night, left the ice and didn’t return. He indicated that if the matchup with the Sharks was set for tonight instead of Wednesday (10:30 p.m., no TV, Team 1200), it isn’t likely he’d be in the lineup. But there’s still time before tomorrow’s game.

“He’s sore,” Senators head coach Bryan Murray said after the team’s 45-minute workout in Anaheim. “We hope he can play, but we’ll have to wait for tomorrow to see if it can get better. Right now, he’s quite sore and stiff. (It’s) below the ribs, the muscle on the side   he got the stick pretty good and it tightened up on him.”

If Alfredsson is unable to play, the Senators would have to turn to Brian McGrattan or Binghamton callup Nick Foligno, who’s on the road trip with the Senators.

Murray announced after practice that Martin Gerber would make his third straight start in goal.

“I thought he was really good (in Anaheim),” said Murray. “I thought he made some good stops and was really poised in the net and again, that’s all we want.”

Murray hopes the Senators can take the finish of Monday’s game with them to San Jose and build on that. Down only a goal, Ottawa carried the play for most of the first half of that final period, with some standout goaltending by the Ducks’ Jean-Sébastien Giguère keeping the Sens from tying it.

“We were not great starting out,” said Murray. “They got the forecheck and we were too slow moving the puck. But I thought we played real well in the second and third (periods) and had a real chance to win the game.”

After tomorrow night’s game, the Senators face off against the Kings on Thursday in Los Angeles (10:30 p.m., no TV, Team 1200), then head to Phoenix for a Saturday game with the Coyotes (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1200) to round out the road trip.

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