BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Ottawa Senators have confirmed that injured goaltender Dominik Hasek will not play in tonight's do-or-die Game 4 in Buffalo.
With the club facing elimination from the NHL playoffs tonight at the HSBC Arena, Hasek, 41, took another skate this morning, but announced he will not be in the lineup. He didn't rule out playing in Game 5 Saturday at Scotiabank Place if it's necessary.
"There is reason to play, but I won't be able to play tonight," said Hasek this morning. "I don't think I can go in there and help my team. If we win, and I believe we can win, then I think it's possible for me to play."
The Senators were hoping Hasek might be able to make a return to the net with the club trailing 3-0 in the series. That means the Senators will stick with Ray Emery as they stand on the brink of elimination in Game 4 at the HSBC Arena.
"We have confidence in Ray and we believe we can get the job done," said centre Bryan Smolinski. "We just have to think about one game at a time right now. You have heard all the cliches and we have to go with all of them."
Emery said he's not worried about Hasek being a distraction and he's prepared to be back in the net.
"We just need a win and I am glad I am going to get a chance to be a part of it," said Emery.
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said he wouldn't have beeen surprised to see Hasek in the net. "We will prepare for whoever is in the net. You've got to try something," said Ruff.
After giving up seven goals in a shaky Game 1 in this series, Emery has been solid in the past two outings and could not be blamed for either loss.
In fact he made a couple of game-saving type stops last night, but continued defensive gaffes ended up costing Ottawa the win. Tonight's game is at 7 p.m. at the HSBC Arena (CBC). If the Senators can win, they would return home for Game 5 Saturday at the Scotiabank Place.