Foligno sticks with Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

WASHINGTON -- The Senators ended the pre-season with a perfect 7-0 record last night.

Today, the axe will fall.

But one player who won't be among the nine cuts is rookie winger Nick Foligno, who has earned a spot in camp to start the season.

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"Foligno had a real good camp. Points aside, he has a knack or a nose around the net," said Ottawa coach John Paddock. "He's played like we expected him to at the start. At rookie camp, he was like the old veteran, on cruise. But he's got hockey sense, he's competitive, he's got a good stick and he's a good young prospect."

Foligno didn't do anything to hurt his cause by scoring his third goal of the pre-season in a 2-1 victory over the Capitals last night at the Verizon Center. Patrick Eaves scored the other Ottawa goal, while Viktor Kozlov tallied for the Caps.

"I wanted to come in and do well. It seems to be pretty positive from them," said Foligno, who played in all of the club's pre-season games. "I know there's things I've got to work on, but as a young person you're going to have to do those things. I'm pretty happy with the way I played."

The Senators plan to keep 21 players in town as they prepare to open the season Wednesday against the Maple Leafs in Toronto. There won't be many surprises when the final cuts are made:

- With centre Dean McAmmond (concussion) and goalie Ray Emery (wrist) nursing injuries, the Senators will keep a couple of extra bodies around. There is some good news with Emery. He could dress as the backup vs. the Leafs, but the Senators will keep rookie Brian Elliott, who made 34 saves in beating Washington last night, here until they know for sure Emery is ready.

- Foligno will likely be the only rookie on the roster. Fs Denis Hamel, Josh Hennessy, and Niko Dimotrakos and Ds Lawrence Nycholat and Matt Carkner are expected to be sent down.

- D Brian Lee, Ottawa's top pick in 2005, had a strong camp, but needs time to adjust to the pro game. Top prospects Ilja Zubov and Alexander Nikulin, who were both solid, are expected to be sent to Binghamton as well.

Nikulin has a deal to return to Russia, but he has indicated through his agent, J.P. Barry, that he might be willing to remain in North America if the organization thinks he has the chance to play in the NHL this year.

FISHER OKAY: C Mike Fisher, who made his pre-season debut against the Habs on Saturday, was pleased to get the chance to suit up for one exhibition game. "It's good to get back out there and get moving," he said. "I felt okay for the first game. There's still a few things with timing and moving around that I'm going to have to be a little bit patient about."


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