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Alfredsson out 4-6 weeks

Rest of team must shoulder load while captain nurses injury

Saturday, 26.12.2009 / 12:48 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Alfredsson out 4-6 weeks
A separated left shoulder is expected to keep Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson out of the lineup for at least the next 4-6 weeks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images).
Now the Ottawa Senators will be forced to soldier on without their captain.

Just when it seemed the Senators were beginning to emerge from a crippling rash of injuries, they've learned that Daniel Alfredsson will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a separated left shoulder.

That could mean Alfredsson will be lost to Ottawa until the two-week break for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics begins in early February.

The team is already without its No. 1 centre, Jason Spezza, until likely after the Vancouver Games with a knee injury. Forward Nick Foligno is also on the shelf after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, but might resume skating on Sunday.

"Very disappointing," Senators head coach Cory Clouston said earlier today in Buffalo, where his team will face off against the Sabres at HSBC Arena tonight (7 p.m., no TV, Team 1200. "It's compounded when you lose Foligno and Spezza as well, so it's not just one guy. We just need guys to step up, we need guys to pick up those minutes and play hard."

Wednesday night, the Senators regained the services of starting goaltender Pascal Leclaire and forwards Chris Neil and Shean Donovan. But that good news feeling didn't even last a period, as Alfredsson went down after he was blindsided on a hit by Craig Adams of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Not only is he the Senators captain, but Alfredsson is also the team's most indispensible player. Ottawa is 6-18-1 without him in the lineup since the 2005-06 season. But Clouston said the team can't spend too much time dwelling on life without its unquestioned leader.

"The sooner, the better we get him back," said Clouston. "Right now, we've just got to take it day by day. We've got to look at tonight's game and try to find ways to win that game and go from there. We expect him to be (out) 4-6 (weeks) but if it's earlier than that, it's a benefit and a bonus."

"Very disappointing. It's compounded when you lose Foligno and Spezza as well, so it's not just one guy. We just need guys to step up, we need guys to pick up those minutes and play hard ... Right now, we've just got to take it day by day. We've got to look at tonight's game and try to find ways to win that game and go from there." - Cory Clouston
There is reason for that kind of hope, as Alfredsson has shown in the past he's a quick healer. Last season, he underwent surgery to remove a bone chip from his right knee. In February, he suffered a hairline fracture of his jaw when struck by a puck. Both times, he only missed one game of action.

Already, he's trying to stay upbeat about his latest injury, which is considered to be among the more serious grades of shoulder separations.

"I saw Alfie at the rink yesterday and he said he slept well," said Clouston. "I've had shoulder separations before and sometimes it's tough to get some sleep. They've got him in a sling to put some pressure on it to make sure it's stabilized. He said it feels much better."

It's the same kind of attitude the Senators need to survive this latest crisis. They've had as many as five regulars out of the lineup in games in recent weeks as they continue to battle an injury wave that seems never ending.

"We've positive. We're optimistic," said Clouston. "We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We just have to go out there and play hard."

Around the boards

With Alfredsson out, the Senators have recalled forward Ryan Keller from the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League ... Leclaire will make his second straight start since returning to the lineup after missing a month with a fractured cheekbone ... The Sens' arrival in Buffalo was delayed by weather issues in Ottawa, which led to the cancellation of their pre-game skate. That means the team hasn't been on the ice since Wednesday's 8-2 loss in Pittsburgh. "We'd much rather have the skate after you've had two days off, but what can you do?" said Clouston. "Right now, we're not having very much luck on our side but we've just got to make the best of it."



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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06