Rookies reach tourney final

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

KITCHENER -- The Senators will have a shot at another title tonight.

No, it's not the Stanley Cup, but the Senators advanced to the final of the four-team rookie tournament at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium with a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh yesterday.

The Senators, who finished the round-robin portion with a 2-1 record, got goals from Alexander Nikulin, Tyler Donati and Derek Smith, along with 36 saves by goalie Ryan Daniels. The Senators and Penguins will face off tonight in the championship at 6:30.

"I don't think we're the most talented group. I think we've played well as a team and the guys have really come together in a short period of time," said assistant GM Tim Murray.

Nikulin, 22, drafted 122nd overall in the fourth round in 2004, has been impressive. He's played well enough to get some pre-season games, but if he doesn't make the Ottawa roster, then he's going back to Russia.

"He's got good skills. We'd like him to go to Binghamton, but he's got a deal to go back to Russia," said Murray.

BAD DEAL: Former Senators GM John Muckler's deal to send RW Martin Havlat to Chicago in a three-way trade with San Jose last summer could be one of the worst moves in Ottawa's history. GM Bryan Murray confirmed D Michal Barinka, who spent part of last year in Binghamton, won't be back this year, which means C Josh Hennessy is the only remaining player from the trade in the organization. D Tom Preissing signed with Los Angeles as a UFA in the summer. "I don't want (Barinka) back. He doesn't want to be here," said Murray.


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