Sens perform line dancing

Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza will continue to see captain Daniel Alfredsson on his right...

Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza will continue to see captain Daniel Alfredsson on his right side. (Sun Media/Errol McGihon)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

Asked to name the eight players who have played on their right side this season, centre Jason Spezza and left winger Dany Heatley needed to search for help to find the right answer.

For the record, Antoine Vermette, Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Dean McAmmond, Patrick Eaves, Oleg Saprykin, Mike Comrie and Daniel Alfredsson have all had stints with Heatley and Spezza.

Spezza did a better job naming his linemates than Heatley. But it's not surprising either had difficulty -- no one has been able to establish a permanent home alongside the Senators' dynamic duo.

That's why coach Bryan Murray reunited Alfredsson with Spezza and Heatley in Saturday's 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

And that's where Alfie will stay tonight when the Boston Bruins visit Scotiabank Place.

"If they play like they did Saturday, then (Alfredsson) will play there at least part of the time now," Murray said following a one-hour practice at the Bell Sensplex yesterday.

And why not? The trio collected seven points in the win over the Lightning, including three goals.

SHORT TERM

"The one thing I see happening is when they go back together and they are fresh, they really make things happen," Murray said. "For the short term, we'll look at that. I get a little concerned when the other lines don't produce, but if they're playing well and doing things, then that allows me to do that.

"Other guys can play there and do the job, but obviously (Alfredsson) is a top player and he can make plays, as well as score goals."

Murray made the move because he wanted a defensive presence on the line against the Bolts. Tampa coach John Tortorella was playing Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Vaclav Prospal against Ottawa's top trio, so winger Mike Comrie dropped back to line up with Peter Schaefer and Mike Fisher.

"I like playing with both lines," said Alfredsson. "It's been fun kind of switching back and forth. It keeps me on my toes as well. Whoever the coach thinks is going to give us the best chance to win, I'll play with. It's not like I'm mad playing with one line because I'm not with the other. I like playing with both.

"With Fisher and Schaefer, it's more forechecking, winning battles in the corner and creating things out of that. You are more aware defensively because a lot of times you're playing against the top line.

"With Heatley and Spezza, it's more puck possession and carrying the puck in their end and kind of trying to get open more to get them the puck."

Spezza said they've gotten used to the changes.

'DIFFERENT GUYS'

"We've talked about it a lot and (Murray) has been putting different guys through, whoever he feels is going to help us to be successful," said Spezza. "(Heatley) and I have played together for a long time and whoever comes in we're going to play with.

"Obviously, (Alfredsson) is a great fit with us. We've had a lot of success ... and definitely if it were (Alfredsson), that would be fine."

Will Alfredsson stay on the line in the playoffs?

Murray doesn't know.

"You have to have a good skater and checker with them," he said. "I'll go a couple of games with (Alfredsson) and I've got to have some flexibility. If we play New Jersey, then I've got to have it spread a little more."


Videos

Photos