Alfredsson back in Sens lineup Thursday
Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
|Daniel Alfredsson was back on the ice Wednesday and will play Thursday night against Florida. (TONY CALDWELL/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA - Daniel Alfredsson is ready to return.
After a one-game absence because of a hip flexor injury that’s been nagging him lately, the Senators captain will return to the lineup Thursday against the Florida Panthers at Scotiabank Place as the club tries to extend its winning streak.
Alfredsson, 38, who didn’t play in a 3-2 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday, was back on the ice for practice Wednesday.
“I felt good. I’ll be ready,” said Alfredsson. “I have no idea (if it will linger). I hope not. Like I said, it’s nothing major, but I’d like to keep it that way. (Tuesday) was a good practice and I’ve just got to stay on top of it.”
The possibility exists that Alfredsson could rest and miss more games this season. The Senators don’t want him to be hampered by this problem all year.
“As long as I warm up and prepare properly, I should be good,” said Alfredsson.
STEP UP BOYS: The decision to send C Mika Zibanejad back to Sweden means C Stephane Da Costa and LW Nick Foligno are going to get more playing time. Coach Paul MacLean said they’ll be expected to fill the void and contribute more offensively. Foligno has only two points in nine games, with a minus-4 rating, while Da Costa has one goal and is a minus-7.
ON THE INJURY FRONT: The future of C Peter Regin is very clouded. The Senators aren’t sure what’s the next step after he suffered a shoulder injury a week ago in a 4-1 victory over Winnipeg. Regin has decided to seek a second opinion, but surgery hasn’t been ruled out. “His status is the same,” said MacLean. “We’re allowing Peter to explore what he needs to do. When he has an answer, we’ll have one for you.” The Senators are close to getting RW Bobby Butler back from a groin injury. “He’s cleared to skate and practise with the team,” said MacLean. “He hasn’t been able to do that as a regular for two weeks. We’re going to monitor him and his fitness level. When he’s ready to play, we’re going to get him in.” Butler hasn’t suited up since he suffered the injury Oct. 13.
HERE TO STAY: Florida D Erik Gudbranson, an Orleans native, will suit up for his ninth game of the season in his hometown. The 19-year-old Gudbranson hasn’t been given a guarantee he’ll be with the Panthers all year, but GM Dale Tallon made it sound like the Kingston Fronts grad won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. “Right now, we’re leaning toward keeping him,” said Tallon. “It’s tough. You want to do what’s best for him long-term and that’s what we’re doing. We had a tough decision on (Jonathan) Huberdeau and last year (Gudbranson) had a good camp, but I think we did the right thing. I’d rather have a player at (age) 26 than at 18. You always err on the side of caution and what’s best for his development, best for him and best for us.”