Senators coach John Paddock will have captain Daniel Alfredsson back on the right side with centre Jason Spezza and winger Dany Heatley when the Senators open the season tomorrow in Toronto.
With the Senators playing seven games in the first 11 days of the season, Paddock believes it's crucial the team begin the year on the right foot.
"The last two or three days I've looked at the schedule and, obviously, you want to get off to a good start because then the schedule becomes extremely light (for the rest of October)," said Paddock. "We go from one extreme to the other.
"With this kind of schedule, that's what I decided to do. When this is done and we're playing like three games in 17 days, then we could go (a different way). But under these conditions, this is clearly the best way to go."
Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley were one of the best and most consistent lines in the NHL last season.
They have been working together on power plays throughout the pre-season, but the belief was Patrick Eaves would start the season on the right side with Heatley and Spezza, while Alfredsson would play alongside Mike Fisher and Antoine Vermette.
Instead, Vermette will return to playing with centre Chris Kelly and Chris Neil, while Eaves skates with Fisher and rookie winger Nick Foligno.
It would appear defenceman Christoph Schubert will start the season up front "" the club kept seven blueliners, including veteran Luke Richardson "" when the final cuts were made.
"We know what we can do together," said Alfredsson. "We'll see how long it lasts. We know we can play together. I don't think it's a big deal. Sometimes it depends on how the game develops. It doesn't matter to be honest. I can play with Fisher and Vermette or Spezza and Heatley. It's different challenges."
Paddock said doesn't plan on using his three big guns together all the time.
"Different teams are going to come out with checking lines," said Paddock. "If it's head-to-head with power, then that's okay. If the (Rangers) want to play Blair Betts next Saturday against Spezza's line, then that's okay. He's going to play a lot and then guys like (Scott) Gomez and (Chris) Drury don't play.
" We looked at it and there's other (factors) that come into it. I just know there's no (Scott) Niedermayer or (Chris) Pronger facing us in the next three or four games."
Spezza said the three of them don't know how long they'll be together.
"John has indicated he's going to be moving things around," said Spezza.
"We feel comfortable with Alfie with us. We're all pretty offensive guys and we kind of think on the same level on the ice and we all like to move the puck. Chemistry is just one of those things that happens."
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