Konopka brings muscle versus Devils
Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
|Zenon Konopka, from the Ottawa Senators, goes at Brandon Bollig, from the Chicago Blackhawks, earlier this month. (Tony Caldwell/QMI Agency)
The Senators are adding muscle for Tuesday’s visit by the New Jersey Devils to Scotiabank Place.
Centre Zenon Konopka, a healthy scratch for five straight games, will be in the lineup against the Devils as the Senators try to close the gap for No. 6 position in the Eastern Conference.
The decision to dress Konopka in place of skilled winger Bobby Butler comes in the wake of the Devils line brawl after the opening faceoff Monday night in a 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
All three forwards on each team dropped the gloves and fought only three seconds into the game. Konopka isn’t the least bit concerned about that kind of situation against the Devils.
Surprisingly, Matt Carkner is still a scratch.
“I was asked if I think New Jersey is going to be a little tired out after yesterday?,” said Konopka Tuesday morning.
“I’m hoping they’re going to start the same lineup.
“To win in this league you have to be able to play both ways. I think Boston showed it last year. You have to be able to play a skilled game. You have to be able to play a rough and tough game.
“You’re going to have different teams and you’re going to have to use differen variables to get past those teams. Looking forward to a playoff push, we’re going to have to use everything we’ve got in the room. I’m just glad that we’ve got a little bit of everything.” Konopka said he is looking forward to playing.
“It’s been a tough few weeks. A tough month probably of sitting on the sidelines,” said Konopka.
“Anything you sit on the sidelines it’s tough but especially when you drop a couple of games it hurts. Hopefully, I can contribute.”
Centre Jason Spezza and defenceman Matt Gilroy, both excused from practice, were back on the ice and will play.
Goalie Ben Bishop makes his seventh straight start.