Bad news for Michalek?

The Sens were without Milan Michalek against the Habs on Monday night. (QMI Agency/Al Charest)

The Sens were without Milan Michalek against the Habs on Monday night. (QMI Agency/Al Charest)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:22 PM ET

MONTREAL -- The knee injury to first-line winger Milan Michalek could be worse than originally thought, Senators coach Cory Clouston said at the Bell Centre Monday morning.

"He's having tests done today," Clouston said after the final tune-up for a big, Northeast Division battle with the Habs. "We'll know more this evening. It is possible (the injury is more serious). I don't want to speculate. We'll just wait and see how the tests go."

Michalek, who is tied for the team lead in goals with 22, injured his knee when he fell hard into a goal post during the second period of Thursday's game in Atlanta. He was helped off the ice and he did not return.

Michalek tried to practice Friday in Dallas, but left the ice after only a few minutes.

Matt Cullen has stepped into his spot on the left wing with Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson.

Clouston also confirmed Monday that Brian Elliott will start in goal against the Habs.

Ryan Shannon, who hasn't scored in 21 games, will be replaced in the lineup by Binghamton callup Zack Smith.

Defenceman Filip Kuba will also sit out Monday night's game. He's missed seven of the last eight games with an upper body injury.

The Senators and Habs head into tonight's game tied for the fifth through seventh playoff spots in the Eastern Conference (Philadelphia is the third team) with 79 points. Each team has played 72 games. Boston is three points behind with 71 games played, and Atlanta just four points back in ninth. The top eight teams will make the playoffs.


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