Jason Spezza is likely to be back in the Sentors lineup when they host the Boston Bruins Saturday at Scotiabank Place.
Ottawa’s top offensive centre has missed the past four games with a groin injury, but he practised with the team Friday morning for the first time since being forced out of the lineup.
Spezza said he was “cautiously optimistic” about making his return against the B’s, while coach Cory Clouston listed him as “probable.”
Also, goalie Pascal Leclaire participated in the first 20 minutes of practice before departing, as was the plan. It was his first time on the ice in four days, and it’s expected he’ll also take part in Saturday’s morning skate but not suit up for the game.
Spezza’s return would mean Clouston has do some line juggling with his team on a two-game winning streak and having won three of its last four.
“It’s tough to break up at least a couple of lines that are playing well,” said Clouston. “Ask me (Saturday) morning and I’ll be able to tell you specifically (what the plan is).”
Spezza said it “felt real nice” to get back to practice.
“Obviously there’s a few things in my game I need to correct, but it’s nice to just get back in, move around and be with the guys,” he said.
Missing practice with various ailments Friday were Alex Kovalev, Milan Michalek and Chris Phillips but all three are expected in the lineup for the Boston game.
The Bruins have lost just one of their last six.