PITTSBURGH – Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson is expected to miss at least a few weeks after injuring his left shoulder late in the first period in the Senators’ 8-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
“I’ll probably see the doctor (Thursday) and do an X-ray and see what the damage is,” Alfredsson said after the game with his arm in a sling. “But I expect at least a few weeks.”
The Penguins’ Craig Adams hit Alfredsson while his head was down and he was battling for the puck with a Penguin in the left-wing corner, causing Alfredsson’s helmet to fly off and him to lay on the ice for a short time.
“I’m trying to reach for the puck – I don’t think I’ll ever get to it, but in the position I am in there, I’m pretty vulnerable … and he stepped into me,” Alfredsson said.
Adams wasn’t penalized, and Senators coach Cory Clouston tersely declined comment when asked what he thought of the hit and whether it should have drawn a penalty.
The loss of the team’s career leader in virtually every relevant category and longest-serving captain in the league came on a night Ottawa welcomed back three regulars to the lineup after extended absences: goalie Pascal Leclaire (fractured cheekbone, out 15 games), winger Chris Neil (left knee, 14 games) and winger Shean Donovan (right knee, 17 games).
Last week, the Senators also lost centre Jason Spezza for about two months because of a knee injury.
Alfredsson leads Ottawa in points (31) and assists (22).
“(Alfredsson’s) a big loss,” Senators goalie Pascal Leclaire said. “He’s definitely our leader and a key player on our team … but we have some good guys in here. We all have to step it up a little bit.”