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Sens captain won't face Bruins

Thursday, 01.31.2008 / 1:03 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Sens captain won\'t face Bruins
The Ottawa Senators’ task against the Boston Bruins got a little tougher Thursday morning.

Senators head coach John Paddock announced after the team’s pre-game skate that captain Daniel Alfredsson, who’s been bothered by a sore hip flexor, won’t be in the lineup when the two teams face off at Scotiabank Place on Thursday night (7:30 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200).

The injury, which forced Alfredsson to sit out the third period of Tuesday’s 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders, had continued to linger the past few days.

“(Alfredsson) could probably play if it was a playoff game, but he wants to try and get rid of it rather than just have it hanging there,” said Paddock.” I think he termed it that he’s at 80 per cent. Eighty per cent of him would still be our best player, but he needs to get it better.”

Alfredsson later told reporters he won’t make the trip to Toronto for Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs and doesn't plan to skate again in practice until Monday. He hasn't worked out on the ice with the team since the injury, which first occurred during a Jan. 17 game against the Carolina Hurricanes, flared up again Tuesday night.

"I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize (the injured hip flexor),” he said. “I’m just going to take some time off here.”

With Alfredsson out, the Senators summoned forward Josh Hennessy from their American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y. This morning, though, No. 1 centre Jason Spezza skated on a line with Randy Robitaille and rookie Nick Foligno, who was called up from Binghamton on Tuesday with forwards Patrick Eaves (neck, shoulder) and Cody Bass (foot) also sidelined.

While Dany Heatley (separated shoulder) skated with the team in practice again Thursday morning, his return isn’t imminent.

“Obviously, it’s tough when you take a guy like Alfie out of the lineup and it’s even harder when Heater’s out,” said Spezza. “We’re missing two (key) bodies, but we’ve just go to make do and try to win the game any way possible and make sure we play a smart hockey game.”

Paddock said it’ll take a collective effort to fill the huge void caused by the absence of Alfredsson.

“You don’t (replace Alfredsson),” he said. “It’s that simple, you don’t. I think we need to be aware of and play like Boston. They’ve had their second-best player (Patrice Bergeron) out of the lineup for most of the year and they’ve had goal scorers like Glen Murray and (P.J.) Axelsson out. They play patient and smart and wait, so I think that would be a pretty good pattern (for us) to follow.

“It’s not that (someone has to) take (Alfredsson’s) ice time or score his goals. Just get that contribution through one, two and three lines that are balanced. In other words, you don’t have to have Jason Spezza’s line score every goal. There has to be a goal from each line in a game and that should be enough to win. That’s the kind of stepping up (we need).”

Martin Gerber (23-8-1) makes the start in net tonight.

Less than 250 tickets remain for the game.




1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02