TORONTO - Daniel Alfredsson skipped the morning skate and will make a decision close to game time on whether or not he’ll be able to participate in the latest Battle of Ontario Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre.
The Senators captain suffered a “lower body” injury at Monday’s practice, but wouldn’t get into specifics when asked for details.
“It’s getting better today for sure,” Alfredsson said Monday around noon. “Obviously not good enough to go on the ice this morning. I’ll try to go out to skate, no question. I’ll know for sure after the pre-game skate if I’ll go or not. I’m hoping it’s going to be good enough to play."
Alfredsson is the Senators leading scorer through 11 games. He has factored in on 12 (six goals, six assists) of the team’s 26 goals.
In 67 career games versus Toronto, Alfredsson has 29 goals and 35 assists.
While coach Cory Clouston was optimistic he’ll have his top right winger in the lineup, he also spoke of what his team has to do to keep Leafs sniper Phil Kessel in check. Kessel leads Toronto with seven goals and two assists.
He scored once and set up another when the Leafs defeated the Senators 5-1 at ACC Oct. 9.
Clouston said shutting him down is a five-man job.
“We have to be better in position, we have to take time and space away, we’ve got to put pressure in the right places,” said Clouston. “It’s not just defencemen. If you just leave it up to them, by then he’s got too much speed on you. We have to make sure we’re channelling the puck in the right direction and protecting the middle.”
Players from both teams were looking forward to 7 p.m. puck drop
“It’s the Battle of Ontario, it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. “Toronto-Ottawa, Tuesday night, it should be fun.”