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Senators big line could be re-united against the Coyotes

Monday, 01.9.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Senators big line could be re-united against the Coyotes
Dany Heatley, front, was re-united at Senators practice on Monday morning with linemates Daniel Alfredsson, left, and Jason Spezza. Photo: OSHC

There was a little less room on the Senators practice ice at the Corel Centre on Monday morning. Twenty-three players took part, including Jason Spezza (pulled left chest muscle), Daniel Alfredsson (broken rib) and Brandon Bochenski (separated shoulder). Bochenski will remain rehabbing his injury, but there's a chance Alfredsson and Spezza could return tomorrow night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

"It feels pretty good and every day it gets better," said Alfredsson of his injury. "There's not much pain to be honest. I had some good rehab last week. I feel fresh and ready to go."

Out longer than he expected, Spezza is cautiously optimistic about his chances of playing against the Coyotes. He does feel he will be back in action at some point this week.

"It's been getting better everyday for the past three or four days. I'll skate tomorrow and see how it is. Thursday is more realistic. I want to make sure I am 100 per cent. I hope I am by Thursday, if not Saturday."

Mike Fisher hopes to see his teammates back as soon as possible.

"It will be good to get those guys back for sure. We knew we would face adversity this season at some point. Hopefully, we're better for it."

On Monday, Alfredsson and Spezza were re-united on a line with Dany Heatley during practice. The other combos included: Chris Neil-Fisher-Peter Schaefer, Chris Kelly-Bryan Smolinski-Patrick Eaves, Vaclav Varada-Antoine Vermette-Brian McGrattan and Brandon Bochenski-Steve Martins, both of whom were called up to fill in for injured players.

Coach Bryan Murray was hesitant in using the team's injuries as an excuse for its recent 1-3-0 road trip, but he admitted they did play a factor.

"You always have a setback when a quality player is not available to lead your team. It forces another player to play against the best of the other team. It appeared on our road trip that we did not cope as much as we wanted to cope. We didn't give ourselves a chance against Atlanta, and Montreal, it was almost the same thing. One thing I did like was when we had to work hard and adjust, (the players) worked hard. We played awfully hard in the second and third periods against Montreal. We have some pretty good character guys. When you go through cycles like this, I think it benefits you."

Whether or not Alfredsson or Spezza return tomorrow night, assistant captain Zdeno Chara wants to see a better effort from his team.

"We have to go back to the way we were playing. We have to play harder. Against Montreal, I have not seen this team play as hard as we did in the second and third periods. We played with so much heart. That was good to see."

During the recent struggles, the Senators have slipped out of the overall NHL lead in the standings. Murray was asked how important it is to see his team in first place.

"We want to win every night and to be as high in the standings as possible. I think the regular season is very important and you find out a lot about your team, yourself and individual players. You go through trials, and it allows you to understand who can stand up and who can't."

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
3 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
4 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
5 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
6 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
7 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
8 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 75 20 41 7 61
K. Turris 75 22 33 -2 55
M. Stone 73 19 34 13 53
B. Ryan 71 18 35 8 53
M. Hoffman 72 26 21 18 47
M. Zibanejad 73 19 24 0 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 55 13 14 -11 27
D. Legwand 73 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 69 11 15 -4 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49