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Fisher won't face Devils

Upper-body injury sidelines Sens centre for big road test

Wednesday, 25.11.2009 / 12:51 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Fisher won\'t face Devils
A lower-body injury will keep Mike Fisher out of tonight's game against the Devils in Newark, N.J., but the Sens centre expects to return soon (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images).
Check out the NHL game notes for tonight's Ottawa- New Jersey matchup.

Add Mike Fisher to the Ottawa Senators' growing list of walking wounded.

The veteran centre has been ruled out with an upper-body injury for tonight's matchup with the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark (7 p.m., TSN2, Team 1200). Fisher, who shares the Senators' goal-scoring lead (10) with Milan Michalek, travelled with the team but didn't take the pre-game skate with the team today.

Fisher suffered the injury during practice Tuesday at the Bell Sensplex, but doesn't believe it's the type of thing that will keep him out long-term. He expects to be with the team for a five-game road trip that begins Saturday in Boston.

"It was a fluke thing but hopefully in the next few days, I'll feel a bit better and can get back soon," he said. "It's something that should settle down and be okay."

With seven points in his last four games – all Ottawa victories – Fisher has played a huge role in the run that has propelled the Senators (12-6-3) to the top of the Northeast Division. He scored the overtime winner in Monday's come-from-behind 4-3 triumph over the Washington Capitals.

Needless to say, the gritty centre wants back into the fray as quickly as possible.

"Things have been going well, the team’s been playing good and it’s never fun sitting out," he said. "But hopefully, I’ll be back soon. We’ve got a lot of games coming up and I’ve got to make sure I’m smart and that it’s something that doesn’t linger. (I want to) take care of it now and get back soon."

Forward Ryan Keller, the American Hockey League's top goal getter, has been recalled from the Binghamton Senators and is slated to make his National Hockey League debut tonight. He skated on a line with Jonathan Cheechoo and Jesse Winchester this morning.

"Things have been going well, the team’s been playing good and it’s never fun sitting out," he said. "But hopefully, I’ll be back soon. We’ve got a lot of games coming up and I’ve got to make sure I’m smart and that it’s something that doesn’t linger. (I want to) take care of it now and get back soon." - Mike Fisher
The Senators arrived in New Jersey already reeling from the news that starting goaltender Pascal Leclaire is sidelined for at least four weeks with a fractured cheekbone. Last Thursday, forward Shean Donovan took a knee-on-knee hit from Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke and is out for 6-8 weeks. That's quite the rash of injuries up front.

"We’ve had our share (of injuries) from Day 1," said Senators head coach Cory Clouston. "We had Ryan Shannon (out), then we lost (Filip) Kuba and (Anton) Volchenkov. There’s a few more right now, but we definitely haven’t been immune from it."

At least one key reinforcement could be on the way. Forward Alex Kovalev, who returned home to Russia late Thursday night for his mother-in-law's funeral, is scheduled to return to Ottawa later today. He missed the last two games but Clouston said "every indication is that he'll be ready to go" when the Columbus Blue Jackets visit Scotiabank Place on Thursday night (7:30 p.m., TSN, Team 1200).

Around the boards

The Senators are targeting Saturday's game in Boston for Volchenkov's much-anticipated return to the lineup. "That would be what we're looking for," Clouston said of the burly Russian, who skated on his own in Ottawa today after practising with the team on Tuesday ... Fewer than 1,500 tickets remain for Thursday's matchup with Blue Jackets. It's also a Subway Savings Game, with all regular-priced tickets available for 20 per cent off.


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