Ouch! Alfie's jaw hurting

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

The Senators were tight-lipped about Daniel Alfredsson's swollen jaw yesterday.

But the Senators called up centre Josh Hennessy from their AHL affiliate in Binghamton, which means the status of the Senators captain is in serious doubt for tonight's visit by Mats Sundin and the Vancouver Canucks.

Alfredsson had an X-ray at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night to see if there was a break after a shot by winger Dany Heatley accidentally deflected off the stick of a Colorado defenceman and hit Alfredsson in the jaw.

Alfredsson presumably met with Ottawa doctors yesterday and his status will be updated today.

Alfredsson left the game at the 13:30 mark of the third period, but returned to play in the final couple of minutes and overtime. His cheek was badly swollen and he was having a difficult time with some pain following the game.

Losing Alfredsson for any period of time would be a blow.

'A LITTLE SORE'

"It's a little sore, but it's not too bad. It's more the jaw. Hopefully, it will be fine," said Alfredsson.

"At first, I thought (Heatley) was going to shoot so I took my eyes off it a little bit and then I thought he was going to pass.

"Then, I saw him cocking his stick and I took my eyes off it a little bit."

Senators coach Cory Clouston, who was initially hopeful Alfredsson only lost a couple of teeth, was pleased with the way the club performed during the five-game, eight-day road trip -- with points in every game.

After covering 8,148-km with stops that included Buffalo, Philadelphia, St. Paul, Minn., Nashville and, finally, Denver, the Senators moved up to No. 11 in the East standings, but remain 13 points back of the final playoff spot.

"We've put ourselves in a position where if we get a real strong push here, then anything is possible," said Clouston. "With the success of this road trip, this has enabled us to do that and be able to think that way.

"There are a lot of little things we've improved on: Character, the speed of the transition game has gotten better, the effort has been there every night and things are starting to come.

"The confidence has really improved with this group of guys and they realize what they're capable of doing."

PLAYOFFS 'POSSIBLE'

The Senators have plenty of teams to climb over to reach the playoffs, but they start a stretch with nine of their next 10 games at home. If they keep showing improvement, the dream isn't impossible.

"It's possible (to get to the playoffs). We would really have liked to have the two points (against Colorado), but coming off a tough back-to-back, to get the point was big for us," said Heatley. "We've just got to keep this thing rolling. We all believe there's still a chance.

"We're just playing with more fun and more energy. You can talk about all the tactical stuff you want. People say we're playing a different system, and that's true, but we're also playing for each other and that's really been good for us."

Centre Mike Fisher said the Senators are finally playing like the team everybody expected they would be in October.

"We knew what type of team we are, we just couldn't get it together earlier in the year," said Fisher.

Now, we're seeing what we really are."


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