Sens Kovalev to play vs. Canadiens

Alex Kovalev will see his first game action tonight in Montreal after having off-season surgery for...

Alex Kovalev will see his first game action tonight in Montreal after having off-season surgery for a knee injury. (Ottawa Sun file photo)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:27 PM ET

MONTREAL - L'Artiste will return to one of his old haunts Friday night.

Alexei Kovalev will make his pre-season debut against the Canadiens as the Senators open a back-to-back series at the Bell Centre at 7:30 p.m.

Kovalev hasn't played since had knee surgery at the end of last season. He is looking forward to getting back in the lineup.

"Good to get back in game routine, game shape I guess. The other day we played scrimmage at practice and it's a completely different workout. Instead of doing the drill, and taking a break between drills. When you get in a game, it'll probably be hard the first period and a half, two periods, just to get the flow going," said Kovalev.

"It kind of takes time to adjust it, but that's why we get exhibition games. Maybe the first ones not going to be perfect, but we have more games to play and get ready for the season."

The Senators aren't exactly taking a veteran lineup. The club wants to get a first look at youngsters Geoff Kinrade, Eric Gryba and Craig Schira.

Pascal Leclaire will start and play the whole 60 minutes.


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