Alfredsson could be back on Sens' top line

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:41 AM ET

NEW YORK - Paul MacLean could mix things up in a New York minute.

With the Senators not putting up much of an offensive fight in their 4-2 Game 1 loss to the Rangers on Thursday, the coach on Friday was toying with the idea of reuniting captain Daniel Alfredsson on a line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek for Game 2 on Saturday.

If the Senators are going to beat the Rangers, they’re not only going to have to eliminate the breakdowns, they’ll need more offence and Alfredsson did score a goal in the third period playing with the duo.

“I will consider (it),” MacLean said following a 50-minute skate at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. “They bring us experience. It’s definitely a line that can generate offence on a consistent basis. If we do that, it makes us have to juggle things.

“We might do that in the game or we might do that before the game. We haven’t decided yet.”

MacLean doesn’t like the idea of putting all his eggs in one basket, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Colin Greening started with Spezza and Michalek because it gives the club a better chance to spread around the offence.

Alfredsson has played well with centre Kyle Turris and winger Nick Foligno, but has chemistry with Spezza and Michalek.

MacLean was non-committal because he doesn’t want to show his cards to the Rangers.

“Alfie always plays good for us,” said MacLean. “When we put that group together, and we do it a lot of times during the game when we need a goal or we need something done, we’ll usually put them out on the ice.

“Those three do generate some offence for us on a consistent basis and it’s always something that we’re able to go to during a game.”

Adjustments are going to have to be made if the Senators are going to win.

Alfredsson was given the day off to rest minor bumps, as were winger Chris Neil and defenceman Erik Karlsson.

All three will play against the Rangers, but it was difficult to tell what changes could take place. The Senators have to react better to being in the playoffs than they did in Game 1. Mistakes were costly.

“We just have to have a little bit of composure with the puck,” said Spezza. “It’s easy to say to be composed and take your time. But when you get out there, things are a little jumpy and the puck is a little jumpy.

“By having the first game under our belt, I think we’ll be a little more composed going into the second one.”

Spezza said the Senators are still confident. A No. 8 seed has never come back from a 2-0 deficit to win a series, so the Senators need to leave the Big Apple with a split to give themselves a chance.

“We feel like we can play them. We felt like we played pretty well, at times, and then we kind of got away from our game. That’s when they took over. That’s what makes them the best team in the East,” added Spezza.

“They were probably a little more consistent than us. But the feeling is still optimism. You have to be prepared to lose games to win in the playoffs. We’re not going to win them all. We’re still optimistic that we can beat these guys and make this a series. We just have to play a little better.”

At this time of year, a little can mean a lot.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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