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Senators playing for Northeast Division crown tonight

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
Ray Emery takes a break during the pre-game skate this morning. The rookie goaltender is the expected starter for the Ottawa Senators when they host the Florida Panthers tonight. Photo: OSHC

by Todd Anderson

The Ottawa Senators could clinch first place in the Northeast Division this evening with a victory over former coach Jacques Martin and the Florida Panthers.

"That's a goal we had at the start of the year," defenceman Wade Redden said after this morning's pre-game skate. "We have an opportunity to do that tonight, we want to take advantage of it."

Rookie forward Patrick Eaves will be back in the lineup after missing the 5-4 overtime win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday with a lower body injury. After goaltender Mike Morrison made his first start for Ottawa on Tuesday, Ray Emery is expected to be tonight's starter after resting a sore hip.

"I'm feeling alright," Emery said after receiving treatment this morning. "This is definitely an important time of year for us. We have to focus on winning the conference - staying ahead of Carolina (Hurricanes)."

Notes: Martin Havlat is expected to have his injured shoulder tested tomorrow and will receive word from his specialist, Dr. Anthony Miniaci, on Saturday if he can play later that evening against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dominik Hasek took the day off today after two weeks of intense rehab. The veteran goaltender says he hopes to play in at least one regular-season game before the playoffs begin.

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