DALLAS ó The offensively troubled Senators will likely be without top goal scorer Milan Michalek when they try to snap out of their post-Olympic funk Saturday afternoon against the Dallas Stars.
Michalek, who injured his left leg when he crashed into the net during Thursday's loss in Atlanta, tried to practise with the team Friday in Dallas. But after only a short time on the ice, he spoke with the training staff and headed for the dressing room.
Michalek, who has 22 goals this season, was later listed as "doubtful" for the matinee at American Airlines Arena.
"But he doesn't appear to be as bad as we first thought," said Sens coach Cory Clouston.
The Senators, who have lost seven of eight since the break, have slipped into sixth place in the conference standings. With 11 games left, their lead on the ninth place team has shrunk to eight points.
No longer does their spot in the post-season tournament seem to be a slam dunk.
"We dug ourselves this hole," said Clouston, whose club was in a similarly sorry state when it lost a 6-1 game in Atlanta Jan. 12 - then immediately reeled off an 11-game winning streak.
"We've been in this situation before, and because we've been in this situation before we should be able to at least draw some strength from that."