Alfie plays waiting game

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Daniel Alfredsson didn't know yesterday if he would be able to play tomorrow.

The Senators captain suffered an upper-body injury when he was slammed into the boards from behind by Dallas Stars forward Jere Lehtinen in Saturday night's 5-4 win by the Senators in overtime.

Alfredsson was hit at the halfway point of the game and did not return.

When asked if he thought he would be able to play tomorrow night in Philadelphia, where the Senators kick off a stretch of eight road games, Alfredsson said: "Depends on how it feels (today). I can't say now."

Alfredsson said after the game he thought the injury left him day-to-day and felt the same way yesterday.

At least he wasn't completely ruling out a return for tomorrow night as the Senators start a crucial stretch of road games.

"You never want to see your captain leave like that," said Senators centre Jason Spezza.

"He's usually not out for a long time," said forward Antoine Vermette of Alfredsson, who missed only one game after undergoing knee surgery early this season.

ROAD WORRIERS

Senators coach Craig Hartsburg saw a lot of things he liked in his team's game Saturday night.

Now the challenge is to carry it over to the road, where the Senators have one of the worst records in the league at 3-8-2, tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the fewest wins away from home this season.

With the world junior tournament getting under way Boxing Day at Scotiabank Place, the Senators have to hit the road for eight games, which will be broken up into three trips.

"That's what we want to be, right there," said Hartsburg after Saturday night's win.

"That's the effort we talk about, working as a team, playing hard and executing the game plan. It was good. Now we have to continue to play with that emotion."

POWER SURGE

The Senators scored three power-play goals against the Stars Saturday night, the first time they've had three with the man advantage in a game this season. It also ended a streak of going just 1-for-29 over their previous seven games and just 3-for-34 over 10 games.

"We moved the puck," said Hartsburg. "(The Stars) are quick, more of a pressure team (on the penalty kill) and it helped us do that. Against a more passive team, we slow it down."

The Senators held the Stars to one goal on four power-play attempts, which is also positive. The Senators had given up three power-play goals in each of their previous two games, losses to the Atlanta Thrashers and the New Jersey Devils.

HEAR AND THERE

The switchout for the world junior tournament got under way yesterday at Scotiabank Place after the Family Skate for Kids. The ice was to be painted with the logos for the tournament and the rinkboard advertising switched over. The merchandise booths were also being switched over to WJC merchandise ... With veteran defenceman Jason Smith scoring the overtime winner with his first goal in 104 games and getting his first point of the season, the longest stretch without a goal on the team now falls to defenceman Chris Phillips. He hasn't scored in 58 games ... Speaking of defencemen and scoring, Saturday night's game was the Senators' 31st of the season and marked the first time this season the Senators got two goals from the blue line in the same game. Alexandre Picard made it 4-3 for Ottawa with his fourth of the season early in the third and Smith scored the winner in overtime. The Senators' blue line has now scored 11 goals as a group (Christoph Schubert is in there with one while playing on the blue line) ... Senators owner Eugene Melnyk told me yesterday he remains confident he will be landing an MLS expansion franchise, likely for the 2013 season. Melnyk said he thinks the economic conditions will be much more favourable then. Yeesh, I hope so ... Since this is likely the last time I'll be scribbling in these pages before Christmas, all the best to you and your families for a safe and happy holiday and Happy Hanukkah. Thanks to all of you who take the time to read and write.


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