Gerber doesn't mask feelings

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

While Ray Emery unveiled a new mask with an image of boxer Floyd "Money" Mayweather yesterday, it could be a long time before the Senators' backup goaltender gets a chance to use it in game action.

Senators goalie Martin Gerber, who will be looking for career win No. 100 tonight when Ottawa hosts the Sabres at Scotiabank Place, will make his 13th straight start and he won't be looking for a break any time soon.

With only five games left in the regular season, Gerber told the Sun yesterday that he'd like to play all the remaining games on the schedule to prepare for the playoffs -- including next week's back-to-back against Toronto and Boston.

The Senators, coming off a 6-3 win over Buffalo on Tuesday, could virtually wrap up a playoff spot if they can knock off the Sabres tonight.

"My focus right now is to play as well as I can play," said Gerber. "There's quite a bit of time between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs to recover. I should be all right (to play them all).

"These are all big games at this time of year, so you want to be in there."

WAITING GAME

Senators D Wade Redden will determine today if he can return against the Sabres. Redden suffered a knee injury against the Canadiens after hitting a rut in the ice in Montreal on Monday. "It was a little stiff at first," said Redden, who practised yesterday. "It felt a lot better. We'll have to see how it feels and go from there. There's a chance (he can play). We'll assess it (today). It felt better overnight (on Tuesday). That was the first time I've skated, so it didn't feel great."

BOXED SET

Emery's helmet with Mayweather, the WBC welterweight champion, is the fifth in his series of boxers. It started for Emery with "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler. Emery, unwisely, also used a Mike Tyson mask for one game. Former Canadian champ George Chuvalo graced Emery's mask until a new one arrived this season with an image of Muhammad Ali. The moody Emery refused to speak with the media about his new Mayweather mask. Here's a little known fact: Mayweather, a Grand Rapids, Mich., native, has a roundabout connection to Ottawa. He attended Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids.

MAKING HIS DEBUT

F Jesse Winchester, who signed with Ottawa on Monday, practised with the Senators for the first time yesterday. The Long Sault native, who has been nursing a shoulder injury, will likely play in a game before the end of the regular season. Winchester, 24, who wrapped his NCAA career with Colgate last Saturday, said it has been a whirlwind few days. "The last week has been pretty exciting. It feels good to be here. The guys have been great so far at welcoming me," said Winchester.

OFF THE GLASS

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said he left Tuesday's game against the Sabres early because he was hurting from blocking a shot. "It was in the same spot I got it against Pittsburgh (earlier this month), so it was a little sore, but I'm fine," said Alfredsson ... Even with C Chris Kelly missing, the Senators had five lines and seven blueliners at practice, making it look a little bit like training camp ... The Senators have to clean up their act defensively if they're going to be successful. "It's too early after one game (to say) that we've turned it. It will help," said coach and GM Bryan Murray. "The main message: Look after your own end." ... Alfredsson's back-to-back three-point third periods are the first since Mario Lemieux completed the feat for Pittsburgh in November 1987.


Videos

Photos