- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Spezza to return to Senators lineup for Game 3
The star forward hasn’t played since Jan. 27 after undergoing back surgery for a herniated disk. He’ll rejoin Ottawa’s lineup Sunday for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Senators trailing 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“I’m excited to have a chance to play again,” Spezza said. “I feel ready to play.”
The 29-year-old will immediately add depth to a struggling offense and power play.
“We’re excited about the skill that he brings back to our team and we’re looking forward to it,” said Senators coach Paul MacLean. “We certainly feel that he’s going to give us some help on the power play, for sure. He can help us quite a bit there.”
The Senators‘ power play has gone 1 for 7 through the first two games.
“He’s such a skilled playmaker that if you’re on the ice with him you know to keep your stick on the ice because he finds a way to get the puck to you,” Zack Smith said. “When you’re playing with guys like that, you’re just more prone to go to the net and go to those areas and be more confident.”
Spezza hopes his timing comes back quickly.
“Basically I’m just going to go out and work hard and be smart,” he said. “I expect to play well.
“I wouldn’t play unless I felt I could help the team and contribute.”
Spezza had two goals and three assists in just five games during the regular season.
“It’s going to be important to be in his face right away and make sure he doesn’t have time and space,” said Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang. “He’s got good hands, so he can make you look really bad. So if you’re in his face and have a good gap, you have a better chance of having success against him.”
The Senators are undefeated at Scotiabank Place in the playoffs this year.
“We need to play to our identity,” MacLean said. “We have to try and establish our game first. What hurt us in the first two games is not getting off to a (good) start, and we’re down in the first three minutes of both games and catch-up hockey is losing hockey.”
Despite being pulled after allowing three goals in Friday’s game, Craig Anderson will get the start Sunday.
“They’re going to be desperate and we know this is going to be the toughest test yet,” Sidney Crosby said. “We need to start well, but just a play a complete game and give ourselves a chance.”
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- U.S. deploys 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland as exercise in response to Ukraine situation
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Six Senate seats could hinge on Keystone pipeline
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- Italy outraged over U.S. gun dealer's 'David' ad
- CURL: The modern GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again