Alfie forced to back out

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

SAN JOSE -- Daniel Alfredsson was a no-go for the Senators last night against the Sharks.

For the second straight day, the Senators captain was able to ride a stationary bike, but he wasn't feeling good enough to skate because of back spasms.

While Alfredsson hopes to play tonight against the Kings in Los Angeles, he wasn't making any promises yesterday.

Alfredsson is still suffering the effects from a cross-check by Anaheim's Francois Beauchemin in Monday's 3-1 loss to the Ducks.

"It's not good enough to go. That's for sure," said Alfredsson. "It got a lot better (yesterday), so hopefully it keeps going. I don't know if there's a big chance (to play against the Kings). Hopefully, it's going to get a lot better. We'll have to see (tonight)."

Coach and GM Bryan Murray said the Senators won't rush Alfredsson.

"He's just going to have to take it day-to-day now," said Murray. "He didn't feel that he could give 100% (last night) and there's not a lot of sense in losing the guy for a period of time if we can get him healthy to a degree.

"I don't know if he'll be 100% when he does come back, but this will give him a chance to recover a little better. It's a muscle thing and it's just a matter of him getting comfortable so that it doesn't tighten up in a game. I talked to Alfie and (athletic therapist) Gerry (Townend) and they think he's come quite a ways, but rather than push it, give him time."

Losing Alfredsson meant Murray had to shuffle his lines.

Centre Chris Kelly was moved to the right side of Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, while Mike Fisher centred Antoine Vermette and Cory Stillman. Randy Robitaille was between Martin Lapointe and Nick Foligno.

The fourth line of Christoph Schubert, Dean McAmmond and Shean Donovan remained intact.

Murray said he wasn't left with a lot of choice because of Alfredsson's injury and likes what Kelly brings to the table.

"You have to make adjustments because of an important player missing," said Murray. "We've got to get something out of (Heatley and Spezza) and I think that (Kelly) protects them a little bit. He's smart and an alert player. That should provide some speed and, hopefully, some scoring opportunities."

The Senators would also like to get Fisher going. He hadn't scored since Jan. 29 going into last night's game and had only one assist in that 16-game stretch.

"I think he's pressing a bit," said Murray.

Fisher said he wants to get back on track.

"I don't feel like I am (pressing). I know it's going to come. It's just a matter of time," said Fisher. "Sometimes you don't get rewarded right away, but I've got to do little things to try to contribute. It's definitely frustrating, but I know it will come."


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