Elliott gets start for Sens

Goaltender Brian Elliott gets his third straight start tonight as the Senators take on the Blues....

Goaltender Brian Elliott gets his third straight start tonight as the Senators take on the Blues. (QMI Agency file)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:55 PM ET

Jason Spezza is inching closer to a return, but he isn't ready for game action just yet.

The Senators centre, out with a knee injury, was on the ice Thursday practising with the rest of the players, but he wont suit up against the St. Louis Blues tonight and isn't expected to play Saturday against Boston, either. It's more likely he will return Tuesday at Scotiabank Place when Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils come to town.

While Spezza is feeling much better, he wants to be careful and a few more days of rest isnt going to hurt. The final decision on when he returns will be made by Spezza in consultation with athletic therapist Gerry Townend and coach Cory Clouston.

Ive got to get a couple of good skates with the team first, said Spezza. Im feeling pretty good. I think they just want to make sure that Im all right and it doesnt become something that comes back. Im getting excited to get back in there.

Spezza wasnt originally expected to be back until after the Olympic break in February.

The skates Ive had the last three days have been pretty hard, said Spezza.

The Senators will have winger Milan Michalek back tonight from a concussion that has kept him out seven games. He will start out on the fourth line with Jonathan Cheechoo and Zack Smith. Winger Shean Donovan will be a healthy scratch.

Hes been out for a few weeks. Sometimes its tough to step right in, said Clouston of his decision to keep Michalek off one of the top lines.

Goalie Brian Elliott, who made 29 stops in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday, will make his third straight start. The Senators are on a four-game winning streak heading into tonight's game.


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