Groin pains for Alfie

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

The heart and soul of the Senators will likely take at least one game off.

And Daniel Alfredsson's linemate, Jason Spezza, says the Senators captain should think about taking a longer holiday.

Alfredsson likely won't be in the lineup tonight against Philadelphia at Scotiabank Place because of a groin injury he suffered in Thursday's 6-5 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"He's day-to-day and I don't think the day-to-day includes him playing (today)," said Senators coach John Paddock.

Spezza has some friendly advice for Alfredsson, who is sidelined with a groin injury for the first time in his career: Take your time coming back.

Spezza, who recently returned after missing six games with a groin injury, said Alfredsson has to make sure he's 100% before thinking about playing.

"It's important to not let it linger," said Spezza.

Alfredsson, who wouldn't admit he wasn't going to play tonight, said the injury had improved overnight and he'll try to take a turn at today's morning skate.

"If we would have practised (yesterday), I wouldn't have skated," said Alfredsson, who was getting treatment for the injury. "I would have wanted to rest it and see how it is (today). It's a bit better. If it improves, I'll probably try to skate and go from there."

Losing Alfredsson would be a big blow for the Senators, who are already without Patrick Eaves, sidelined with a separated shoulder.

There won't be a roster move because Paddock is hopeful Randy Robitaille will be ready to return from a hand injury that has kept him out of the last two games.

Alfredsson has been one of the NHL's top players this season and is an early candidate for the Hart Trophy as the league MVP. He's averaging 23:45 minutes of ice time pergame and has 16 goals and 14 assists in 21 games as the Senators have skated to a 16-4-1 record.

"Alfie plays (a lot of) minutes. He does a lot for us every night," said Spezza. "It just means everybody has got to step up and play a little bit better and do a little bit more.

'WE CAN'T ROLL OVER'

"He's a big part of why we go so well. Just because he's gone, we can't roll over and make that excuse."

The biggest change will be made to the penalty-killing units with Dean McAmmond and Dany Heatley getting expanded roles.

"The biggest thing is there is going to be some ice time on the penalty kill for some other people," said Paddock. "We've been wanting to get a group of six like we had last year and it hasn't worked out because we've been good without the six. It's an area where it's been four guys doing it."


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