Sens coach juggles lines

The Sens will start Alex Auld in net against the Flames tonight. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency/Files)

The Sens will start Alex Auld in net against the Flames tonight. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency/Files)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:11 PM ET

OTTAWA - Looking to kickstart his sagging offence, Paul MacLean has dismantled his top line for Friday's game at Scotiabank Place against the Calgary Flames.

As a result, he will have at least one double-digit scorer on his top three units.

The Senators, who have managed just three goals in losing their last two, will use Jason Spezza between Milan Michalek and Colin Greening, Kyle Turris in the middle of Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Condra, Zack Smith between Nick Foligno and Bobby Butler and Zenon Konopka centring Chris Neil and Kaspars Daugavans.

In other news from Friday's morning skate, MacLean announced that Alex Auld (1-3-2) will make his 10th appearance between the pipes and defenceman Chris Phillips will return from a one-game injury absence.

To make room for Phillips, Matt Carkner will come out of the lineup.

With the Senators playing in Buffalo Saturday, MacLean doesnt want to extend Carkner, who missed the first 29 games of the season recovering from knee surgery.

Were again looking for chemistry between players, MacLean said of his line juggling.

We know that Michalek and Spezza have been real good all year with Greening, and again were trying to find some chemistry for Kyle Turris, see who can play with him and get him going.

Having Foligno play on the third group were hoping gives us a little better balance and makes us a little harder to defend.

Auld, who won his last start Dec. 16 against Pittsburgh, is playing Friday to allow a fresh Craig Anderson to take on the Sabres Saturday. Anderson is also likely to start Monday against New Jersey and Wednesday versus Tampa, as MacLean wants his No. 1 goalie to ready for Eastern Conference games where points loom larger in the playoff race.

Craig played three in four nights before the holidays, said MacLean.

As well, centre Jesse Winchesters recovery from concussion took another step forwardard when he worked out for the second day in a row.

Winchester is scheduled to skate Saturday and if all goes well, carry on with the NHLs protocol for the recovery from head injuries.

Its very positive for Jesse, said MacLean.

The Flames were riding a four-game winning streak before losing 3-1 Thursday in Long Island.


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