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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spezza Out? Alfredsson In?


The plot thickened surrounding the status of centre Jason Spezza.

After suffering a leg injury in Friday's 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Spezza wasn't on the ice today and he may not play tomorrow in Game 3 of the series.

If Spezza can't play, then he'll be added to the injury list with captain Daniel Alfredsson (knee), centre Mike Fisher (knee) and centre Chris Kelly (foot).

While it's expected Spezza will play with the Senators trailing 2-0 in the series, Ottawa players swear they won't just throw in the towel.

"He's just banged up a bit from what I know," said defenceman Chris Phillips. "Obviously, you want him in the lineup. You gotta go out play your hardest. We can't just put our heads down, kick the wall and say, 'Let's hope everyone is healthy next year.' We're going to fight and we've got a couple of home games to turn the series around."

The club called winger Alexander Nikulin from its AHL affiliate in Binghamton. He will play no matter what Spezza's status is.

While Ottawa Senators coach and general manager Bryan Murray said Saturday the team's injury situation was status quo, rumours persist that injured captain Daniel Alfredsson might attempt to return for Monday's Game 3.

Alfredsson didn't skate Saturday but did attend the team's video meeting before practice.

Meanwhile, the Senators on Saturday recalled 22-year-old centre Alexander Nikulin from Binghamton of the American Hockey League.

Murray said it's possible Nikulin will play in either Game 3 or Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final against Pittsburgh.

I think that Spezza will play and that Alfredsson won't, but he might be there for game four.

Will the series going to Ottawa change anything? Probably not. The Pens only have to win one of two and they go back to Pittsburgh up 3-1, so I doubt Ottawa is going to get back into this!

Go Pens!

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