Hasek returns to ice

Ottawa Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek skated today in Buffalo, but will not play in Game 3 of...

Ottawa Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek skated today in Buffalo, but will not play in Game 3 of their series against the Sabres tonight. (Ottawa Sun File/Blair Gable)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:59 PM ET

BUFFALO -- The plot thickened today in the Senators world.

Goaltender Dominik Hasek stepped onto the ice with the Senators for the first time in over a week for the morning skate and he could return to the net in Game 4 tomorrow at HSBC Arena if the need arises.

"He could probably play if he had too," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "It appears he is able to do everything. He stopped the puck a lot and so we'll see."

Down 2-0 in their series against the Buffalo Sabres, Hasek, 41, who has been sidelined with an adductor muscle injury since Feb. 15 at the Olympics, was going down in practice and giving it a good test.

"I feel like a goalie again," said Hasek. "I am the closest I have been. I can do everything. I can go up and down. I can jump and I can move around."

He said he would not play tonight but didn't rule out a return in the series.

Although Hasek was favouring his right side, he was moving around more than he has in three months and flopping around. However, Ray Emery will be in the net tonight against the Sabres as the

"He's not going to play tonight," said Senators GM John Muckler.

Hasek also practiced Tuesday in Ottawa with the scrubs and, according to Muckler, looked good. Can he be ready for Game 4 tomorrow? Anything is possible where the unpredictable Hasek is concerned.

The Sabres announced centre Tim Connolly will be out with a suspected head injury after he was nailed by Peter Schaefer Monday in Ottawa.

Ruff said Connolly was day-to-day, but he has a history of head injuries. Defenceman Dmitri Kalinin will also be out of the lineup for at least a week with a neck injury. Rory Fitzpatrick will step in for Kalinin while Jiri Novotny is going to play for Connolly.

"Our mantra all year has been to never use injuries as an excuse," said Ruff.


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