Sens felled by flu bug

Sens coach Cory Clouston defended his decision to pull goalie Pascal Leclaire early last night....

Sens coach Cory Clouston defended his decision to pull goalie Pascal Leclaire early last night. (QMI Agency/Errol McGihon)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:05 PM ET

The Ottawa Senators could find themselves shorthanded for the Battle of Ontario on Saturday night.

Forwards Peter Regin, Ryan Shannon and Jarkko Ruutu are suffering from the flu and were not on the ice for practice Friday at Scotiabank Place. Also absent was centre Jesse Winchester, citing personal reasons.

The Senators are preparing to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on the heels of two straight losses since returning from the Olympics break.

While coach Cory Clouston is hopeful everybody will be available to face the Leafs, he wasn't making any promises. That means reinforcements might have to be recalled from the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton. That decision likely won't be made until Saturday.

"We've got a little bit of the flu running through the team and we've got to wait and see who will be ready to go," said Clouston.

Defenceman Filip Kuba (lower body injury) wasn't on the ice and won't be ready to return.

The Senators are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday. Clouston was facing plenty of questions today about his decision to pull goalie Pascal Leclaire only six minutes into the game.

"There was a lot of time left in the game. We're still trying to win games and the team needed shakeup," said Clouston.


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