Daniel Alfredsson

Alfredsson (groin) won’t play in rematch against Senators

The Ottawa Senators will not face their longtime captain, Daniel Alfredsson, in tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. Instead the 40-year-old forward will miss his sixth straight contest due to a groin injury, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.

“They want to make sure it doesn’t become (a long-term issue),” said Alfredsson.

He said he wasn’t targeting this game, but he was hoping to play “given what happened last time.” In his first game against Ottawa, the Senators earned a crushing 6-1 victory.

The Senators are hoping history repeats itself tonight as they fight to end a three-game losing streak and put their season back on track. They are six points out of a playoff spot with a 8-10-4 record.

Barring a setback, Alfredsson should be healthy enough to play in his return to Ottawa on Dec. 1. It will be the Canadian Tire Centre fans’ first chance to cheer or boo him since he signed with Detroit over the summer.

Video: Dion Phaneuf’s assist is his first point with Senators

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Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.

Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.

You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.

Here’s his second assist for good measure:

Stars chase Crawford as Eaves scores first-period hat trick

Dallas Stars right wing Patrick Eaves, right, celebrates with left wing Jamie Benn after scoring his first goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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The Dallas Stars seemed like they were slipping out of the run for the top spot in the Central Division for a while there.

Now it seems like they might just boot the Chicago Blackhawks out of first place in little time.

Granted, there’s plenty of time left in Thursday’s game, and that’s probably part of the reason why Joel Quenneville gave Corey Crawford the early hook.

The other reasons? Well, four of them, as Dallas is up 4-0 … and Patrick Eaves provided a remarkably rapid hat trick riding along with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Here’s his third tally:

If Dallas can hold on for a regulation win, the Stars would end the night just one standings point behind Chicago with two games in hand. Then again, as this race has shown, it’s rarely safe to make too many assumptions.

Another day, another nice Connor McDavid goal

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The Oilers could be a big seller during the trade deadline, but that’s not the only reason to keep an eye on Edmonton.

Connor McDavid is making up for lost time from his freak injury, scoring highlight reel goals often enough that he’s almost doing so at will.

In many cases, he’s used his speed to leave opposing defenses helpless. In this case against his hometown team in the Toronto Maple Leafs, McDavid took advantage of a nice Benoit Pouliot pass. Check out that nice tally in the video above.

Trade talk: Who Oilers might deal, Eric Staal in limbo

Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal (12) celebrates his second-period goal with teammates, including his brother Jordan Staal, second from left, during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. The Penguins won 5-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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As has often been the case, some big trades have already happened before the hype-soaked Feb. 29 deadline, but there’s plenty of speculation regarding what might happen next.

TSN’s Insider Trading segment is always a must-watch, so check it out right here.

To reiterate, the video’s worth watching in full, but here are some highlights:

  • The Edmonton Oilers shine as one of the most obvious “sellers.” Teddy Purcell could be a nice supplementary piece, yet Pierre LeBrun rightly points to Justin Schultz as the most interesting name.

He’s really received just about every chance you can ask for in Edmonton, but LeBrun notes that his confidence is “shot.” Schultz is a pricey guy to take on thanks to his qualifying rights; still, some team might believe that they can make that reclamation project work.

  • Andrew Ladd seems to be in limbo with the Winnipeg Jets, as it sounds like there’s the possibility of an extension or a trade.
  • Eric Staal‘s situation is murky, too. Bob McKenzie points out that Staal has control of his situation with no-trade/no-movement clauses, so he can dictate his future with (or without) the Carolina Hurricanes.
  • An interesting opinion raised by LeBrun: Mikkel Boedker‘s maybe the No. 1 rental forward.

Darren Dreger reports that Boedker is looking for a six-year deal with a $5.5 million cap hit (which would be $33 million), whether that comes from the Arizona Coyotes or someone else.

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Again, watch the full video, as a lot of names and teams are discussed. Plenty of things can happen, but we’ll ultimately need to wait and see.