The Ottawa Senators could go back to an old faithful in their first round playoff series against the New York Rangers.
While captain Daniel Alfredsson was given the day off for the club's skate at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, he could find himself reunited with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek in Game 2 of the series Saturday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).
After dropping a 4-2 decision in Game 1
Thursday, Ottawa coach Paul MacLean certainly didn't rule out the possibility of replacing rookie Colin Greening on the right side of Spezza and Michalek with Alfredsson.
He did use the trio in the third period and Alfredsson broke Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist's bid for a shutout.
"I will consider [it]," admitted MacLean. "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."
The Senators need to make some changes for Game 2 if they're going to get back into this series.
A No. 8 seed that has gotten down 2-0 in a series has never come back to win the series.
The Senators know they have to clean up their act. The way they played in Game 1 just wasn't good enough. The Rangers made them pay for turnovers.
"There will be breakdowns every game, and it's my job to step up and make the save for the guys," said goaltender Craig Anderson, who wasn't at his best. "The less mistakes you make, the fewer chances we give and we gave them chances and they capitalized."
The Rangers were led by captain Ryan Callahan. He wasn't only a physical force delivering big hits, he scored the first goal of the night in the first period when New York was being outplayed and relying on Lundqvist.
"The guy has been our leader all year long," forward Brandon Dubinsky said of Callahan. "Sometimes you just expect it. That's just the type of guy that he is.
"He goes out and prides himself on making sure he's a difference maker each and every night. The rest of us kind of follow suit. He really set the tone for us. That's going to be important for him to do throughout this whole playoff."
The Senators are going to have to find a way to deal with Callahan and all the Rangers. Still, they put up a brave face and have no plans to go back to Ottawa for Game 3 Monday at Scotiabank Place down by a 2-0 count.
"We feel like we can play them. We felt like we played pretty, 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 opmistic that we can beat these guys and make this a series. We just have to play a little better."
Defenceman Erik Karlsson and winger Chris Neil weren't on the ice either along with Alfredsson. All three will play.
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