PATRICK LALIME saw Senators general manager John Muckler watching practice behind the glass yesterday and gave him a reassuring nod that he intends to play Game 1.
The Ottawa netminder sprained his knee on March 27 at the Air Canada Centre and has not played since. Lalime participated in about 20 minutes of the hour-long practice and stayed afterwards for extra work with goalie coach Phil Myre.
"I'm feeling good and it's getting better every day," said Lalime. "It's progressing and I'm excited. I'm going to keep working at it. I've got three more days."
Martin Prusek, chased to the bench by three goals on nine Toronto shots on Saturday, will start if Lalime can't, backed up by Ray Emery.
"I've gone through stretches in the season of 10 days where I haven't played before, so I'm not worried," Lalime said.
The Sens should have Peter Bondra and centre Jason Spezza ready for Game 1 from what the secretive Sens are calling 'lower body injuries'.
BIG QUESTION: The Sens are already under siege from questions of their failure to beat the Leafs in three previous series.
"That doesn't bug me," captain Daniel Alfredsson insisted. "What bugs me is that we haven't won a Stanley Cup. That's first and foremost on my mind."
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