Sens' Alfredsson, Spezza, Michalek reunited for Game 5 | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaSens' Alfredsson, Spezza, Michalek reunited for Game 5

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 | 12:44 PM

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Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson made waves with some comments after the Senators' lopsided Game 4 loss. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson made waves with some comments after the Senators' lopsided Game 4 loss. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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Three storylines for Game 5 of the second-round series between the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins on Hockey Night in Canada (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET). The Penguins lead the Eastern Conference semifinal series 3-1.

PITTSBURGH -- Three storylines for Game 5 of the second-round series between the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins on Hockey Night in Canada (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).

The Penguins lead the Eastern Conference semifinal series 3-1.

1. How will Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson respond after taking so much heat over the past 48 hours?

Over the past two days, Alfredsson has been criticized for an honest comment he made after the Senators' 7-3 loss at home on Wednesday.

When asked if his team could bonce back from a 3-1 series deficit to the Penguins, the 40-year-old Alfredsson replied "probably not." He later said in the same session with reporters that the Senators would go to Pittsburgh and play "one of heck of a game." He also added, "I don't think we have much going for us. But maybe that's the way we like it."

Alfredsson has further attempted to explain his postgame remarks. "I don't doubt for one second that we'll come out with a great effort [in Game 5]. It sounds like I had given up. If you ask anyone and they look at our series, I don't think there are too many people that would pick us right now. That's what I meant. We're still in the playoffs. It doesn't matter to me which way it's looked at. The guys in this room know enough about me. I believe in these guys. What's said and how it's looked at, I'm not going to change anything in how it's said. It's obvious to me that we're in tough."

This may be Alfredsson's final NHL game if the Senators lose. But he won't make his decision on whether to return for another season until the summer.

2. Will Senators coach Paul MacLean make any changes to his lineup?

From the morning skate, it appeared that MacLean has plans to reunite Alfredsson with centre Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek.

"Maybe putting the three of us back together we can find some of the old chemistry," Spezza said.

In the first five games of the regular season prior to Spezza's back surgery, the three veterans did not play together, but they have seen plenty of time on the same line before this season.

Mark Stone will not play for Ottawa Friday, but it was uncertain as to whether Cory Conacher or Matt Kassian will play on the fourth line.

On the Penguins side, Brenden Morrow, who missed Game 4 with a suspected arm injury, said he felt good but wouldn't decide until game time as to whether he'll suit up in Game 5.

3. Can the Penguins close the deal at home and get some rest before the East final begins?

With the possibility of the Boston Bruins eliminating the New York Rangers in the other East final at home on Saturday, the Penguins want to take care of business against the Senators on Friday.

They have some players with undisclosed injuries who could use some extra days off. Brenden Morrow missed Game 4. Chris Kunitz played sparingly in the second half of Game 4.

The Penguins, however, have not clinched a playoff series at home since the 2008 East final. They have gone 0-for-6 in potential series-clinching games at home since then under head coach Dan Bylsma.

"I'm aware of that," the Penguins coach said.

Projected lineup for Ottawa

Forward

Milan Michalek -- Jason Spezza -- Daniel Alfredsson

Colin Greening -- Kyle Turris -- Erik Condra

Zac Smith -- Mika Zibanejad -- Jakob Silfverberg

Cory Conacher -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Chris Neil

Defence

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Jared Cowen -- Sergei Gonchar

Chris Phillips -- Andre Benoit

Goaltender

Craig Anderson

Projected lineup for Pittsburgh

Forward

Chris Kunitz -- Sidney Crosby -- Pascal Dupuis

James Neal -- Evgeni Malkin -- Jarome lginla

Brenden Morrow -- Brandon Sutter -- Matt Cooke

Craig Adams -- Jussi Jokinen -- Tyler Kennedy

Defence

Brooks Orpik -- Paul Martin

Kris Letang -- Mark Eaton

Matt Niskanen -- Douglas Murray

Goaltender

Tomas Vokoun

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC.

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