Senators get early gift

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 1:32 PM ET

The Senators are getting a couple of early Christmas gifts: Pascal Leclaire and Chris Neil.

Both were on the ice today at Scotiabank Place and are expected to return to the lineup tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena.

While the Senators will have a two-day Christmas break after facing the Penguins, getting Leclaire and Neil back is welcome news. Centre Josh Hennessy and goalie Mike Brodeur were return to the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

GM Bryan Murray said it will be good to have both players back.

"We got Pascal for a reason: He's our No. 1 guy ... and the No. 1 guy should give you the confidence to know that you are safe in a lot of areas," said Murray. "Getting Chris Neil back provides toughness and grit. He's the type of player that seems to really thrive in this league. Chris adds a great value to our team."

In the wake of Ottawa's 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins Monday, Murray said he spoke with director of officiating Terry Gregson this morning about the fact the Senators didn't have one power play in the game. It's the third time this year the Senators haven't had a man advantage.

"It's the first time in two years I've called the league," said Murray. "I don't complain all the time. I just saw this game and it was very obvious it wasn't a zero penalty game."

Winger Milan Michalek and centre Mike Fisher weren't on the ice, but both will play tomorrow.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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