Sens without Leclaire on trip

Goalie Pascal Leclaire missed practice Tuesday and will not accompany the Senators to Nashville for...

Goalie Pascal Leclaire missed practice Tuesday and will not accompany the Senators to Nashville for their final pre-Christmas game this week. (QMI Agency file photo)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:52 PM ET

OTTAWA - The Senators' playoff hopes now rest squarely on Brian Elliott's shoulders.

And, if he can't do it, Mike Brodeur may get a shot.

There was no sign of often-injured Pascal Leclaire as the Senators stepped onto the ice Tuesday at Scotiabank Place, Leclaire is battling a nagging lower-body ailment and won't make the trip to Nashville for Thursday's final game before for the two-day Christmas break.

Elliott will be trying to win his first game since Nov. 27.

"(Leclaire) has made some strides. He feels better (Tuesday) than he did (Monday), but not enough to give us optimism that he'll be ready for Nashville," said Senators coach Cory Clouston.

Clouston, who doesn't believe surgery is going to be required, said he hopes the issue isn't chronic.

"You'd have to ask him, but I'd have to say no. I'm not going to say a definitive no," said Clouston.

Elliott needs to be sharper than he has been lately.

"He was playing with more confidence before. He was playing on the top of his crease and doing a lot of the little things that we need him to do," said Clouston.

"It starts with positioning, tracking the puck and rebound control. Those little areas haven't been as good. Sometimes numbers don't lie. We haven't given up a lot of shots, but we can't just point the finger at him.

"We have had some inopportune turnovers. (Elliott's) part of our team. He's like everybody else: We need to be better. Right now, because of Pascal's injury, the spotlight does go on him a lot more."

Elliott is trying to stay confident.

"The team and myself have been off in different ways," said Elliott. "We've got to kind of start working together and getting a consistent game for 60 minutes. I feel better and a little more confident in my game.

"You try to play as consistent as you can. The same way no matter what (happens), but when a couple of pucks are going off skates and you're not winning, naturally you're going to second guess yourself."

Brodeur, who will likely join the team in Nashville and had a shutout last year against the New York Rangers at Madison Squara Garden, could get a shot.

"That's a possibility," admitted Clouston when asked if Brodeur may have get a chance to play sooner or later. "I'm not going to say we're going to do that as of right now, but that's a definite possibility.

"Brodeur's only played two or three games in the last three months at the East Coast level, so it's not like he's been having a real solid season.

He's just getting his game back on track from his concussions. It's not a perfect situation for him either."


Videos

Photos