No Winchester leaves Sens short-handed on penalty kill

BRUCE GARRIOCH, OTTAWA SUN

, Last Updated: 7:36 PM ET

The injury list keeps on growing for the Senators.

The Senators have learned they’ll will be without centre Jesse Winchester for a month with a right knee injury while defenceman Filip Kuba is day-to-day with an upper body injury.

The duo joins winger Milan Michalek (suspected concussion), captain Daniel Alfredsson (shoulder) and C Jason Spezza (knee) to bring the number of players sidelined to a total of five. Kuba is expected to play on this trip, but Winchester suffered a kneecap injury when he got tangled up with Florida’s Keith Ballard in a 3-0 loss Saturday at home.

It has been a trying season for Winchester, who missed most of training camp and eight games after injuring the same knee in camp.

“It’s been very tough. (Saturday) was a perfect example of what he was starting to do for us,” said Senators coach Cory Clouston before last night’s game. “I thought he did a great job on the penalty kill, he was playing physical and he was playing his role very well.

“You can say, ‘Okay, he’s playing on the fourth line.’ But his role as far as specialty teams was very important for us. All of a sudden, we’re down four guys who kill penalties for us. He was that much more important. We were almost double-shifting him on the kill because he wasn’t playing as much 5-on-5.”

No suspension for kick: The NHL looked at an attempted kick by Florida C Greg Campbell on Senators RW Chris Neil during the late stages of Saturday’s game, but determined no supplementary discipline was necessary. While Neil’s role in the melee was examined, Campbell looked like he was trying to swing his leg with the rugged winger on top of him. “Whatever call they make is the right call,” said Neil. The incident took place after Campbell slashed Ottawa D Anton Volchenkov and Neil decided he’d better make sure there was some payback. “I haven’t seen it, I know Volchie almost got a skate in the face and I just kind of felt something,” said Neil. Campbell’s dad, NHL VP Colin Campbell, recused himself from the decision. When his son is involved, the elder Campbell defers to the capable hands of VP Mike Murphy.

The morning skate: The folks at the Ottawa Fire Department might want to see if they can get Minnesota G Josh Harding to send along an autographed photo with the back of his new mask. After losing his helmet in a fire last month as the equipment truck made its way from the Bell Sensplex to Scotiabank Place, Harding has decided to honour the OFD by wearing their logo on his new design that’s part of a theme about the incident. You might see more of it: Harding took over in the third period Saturday with Minny trailing 5-1 against Chicago, stopped all 13 shots he faced — plus seven in a shootout — and helped lead the Wild to the biggest comeback win in club history, 6-5 ... Carolina C Eric Staal returned from Thunder Bay after attending his sister-in-law’s funeral. He could have met the ’Canes in Toronto Tuesday, but wanted to return as soon as possible.


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