Pressure's now on Spezza

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:14 AM ET

First it was Daniel Alfredsson, now Milan Michalek.

Of all places, Senators are finding their lost scoring touches in the infirmary, probably somewhere behind the tape and Tylenol.

In his first game back after missing 11 with a separated shoulder, Alfredsson ended a personal 13-game goal-scoring drought. Michalek returned Thursday night after missing seven games with a concussion, and before the second period was over he had snapped a personal nine- game scoring slump.

Michalek’s condition was even more dire than Alfredsson’s, as he had scored just once in 19 games before landing on the shelf.

To a lesser extent is the case of Nick Foligno, who wasn’t previously in such a rut, but did celebrate his first game back with a goal after being sidelined for seven by a knee injury.

Foligno, who has since gone 12 without scoring, might want to ask athletic therapist Gerry Townend or team doctors Mark Aubry and Don Chow for some help.

Meanwhile, the pressure will be on Jason Spezza to make a splash in his return from a knee injury, which now looks like it will be Tuesday, at home, against the Devils. Spezza, who has missed 19 games since tearing knee ligaments, was on something of a mini-tear when he went down, scoring in two straight.

“I’ve got to get a couple of good skates in with the team first,” said Spezza, who doesn’t feel like he’ll be quite ready to go when the Senators play the Bruins on Saturday. “I’m feeling pretty good. I think they just want to make sure that I’m all right and it doesn’t become something that comes back. I’m getting excited to get back in there.”

Starts and stops

In the 1200th game of his NHL career, Alex “The Most Interesting Man In The World” Kovalev had two assists — and took two third- period penalties, the second of which tested the Senators penalty killers’ ability to protect a lead. Naturally, they came through. A key to the five-game winning streak — Ottawa has gone 19-for-19 on the penalty kill during that stretch ... If big Filip Kuba didn’t have such an aversion to playing the body, he might have stepped into Brad Boyes’ path en route to the latter’s game-tying goal early in the third. Instead, Kuba gave a wave to Boyes and the Senators said goodbye to the lead they had spent the night building ... David Perron thought he put the Blues on the board in the first period, but time had expired by a split second. An exciting player people in these parts don’t get to see often enough, Perron is one of what he estimates to be 20-25 NHLers who are playing with a tinted visor, joining the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar, Marian Hossa and Jack Johnson. “You know how an NHL locker room is,” said Perron, who switched over when he noticed a dark visor in the equipment room the same shape as the one he was wearing and decided to try it out. “There will be guys making fun of each other all the time. Might as well be for something you like to wear. It’s just different. I like it.”

Things I think I think

As lengthy as the Matt Carkner-Cam Janssen first- period scrap was, longer yet was the time Janseen sat in the box without his shirt on. Looked like he was waiting for someone to ask him the way to the beach ... At least it took the Senators until game No. 52 to reach double digits in too-many- men-on-the-ice penalties. Their 10th of the season nullified a power-play opportunity in the second ... For someone who doesn’t score much, Chris Phillips has the most familiar post-scoring pose (the one arm, one-leg up salute) on the team.

BETWEEN PERIODS

Rookie Peter Regin is “really starting to figure it out,” coach Cory Clouston said after the morning skate. Regin figured it out a little more a few hours later, scoring a goal and two assists to give him five points in his last two games ... As Mike Danton was holding his first press-conference since serving 5½ years for involvement in a failed murder-for-hire plot, his ex-Blues teammates were happy to see him working his way back into society. “I really don’t know the whole story of what led him to do what he did, but I think he’s paid his dues,” St. Louis veteran Barret Jackman said of Danton, who is attending Saint Mary’s University and will play for the Huskies. “If everybody at the university is comfortable with him coming back, and he’s comfortable, it’s going to be a good situation for him.”


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