Smolinski says he has 'no chance' of making Team USA

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Senators F Bryan Smolinski won't be holding his breath when USA Hockey names its Olympic roster tonight.

"I've got no chance," said Smolinski, who would have loved the chance to play for his country.

Smolinski's play has picked up in the last month or so and he scored his second goal in three games Saturday night against the Leafs. He also added an assist on Mike Fisher's goal with a wicked blind pass from the corner to the front of the net.

Fisher yelled for the puck after he was left alone in front of the Toronto net.

"It was a little bit of luck, a little bit of effort and some great finish by Mike," said Smolinski, modestly.

Smolinski was shifted to the wing after Brandon Bochenski injured his shoulder. He scored his goal, his sixth of the season, on a nice snap shot from the right wing.

The Senators need guys like Smolinski and Fisher to provide that secondary scoring to back up The Spizza Line.

LINE JUGGLING?: With the Senators scoring depth hurt with the loss of Ws Martin Havlat and now Bochenski, Senators coach Bryan Murray isn't sure if he can afford the luxury of keeping The Spizza Line intact full-time. He might have to move RW Daniel Alfredsson or LW Dany Heatley around to try and spread the scoring out.

SENS THIRD BEST AT 30: The Senators have the third-best point total through 30 games in NHL history. The Senators' win over the Leafs gave them 48 points through 30 games, trailing only the 1929-30 Bruins (51 points), the 1943-44 Canadiens (49) and the 1979-80 Flyers (49).

FIRED UP FOR LEAFS: The Battle of Ontario had the Senators fired up Saturday night. The atmosphere in the room was a lot different from Thursday night when the Senators faced the Stars. "We came prepared to play," Murray said of the effort. "When there's excitement in the room, we're pretty good."

OTTAWA POWERS UP WITH REDDEN: It's no coincidence the Senators set a team-record with six power-play goals Saturday night (they had five against Columbus in Nov. 2003) when D Wade Redden returned to the lineup. Redden had a goal and two assists in his return after missing 10 games with a knee injury. He's got a knack for getting the puck to the net on the power play. It's not always a big shot that leads to scoring plays; just finding a shooting lane can often lead to chances down low.


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