Stanley Cup Playoffs: MacLean may stack Senators top line

By Matthew Kirkpatrick

In an attempt to generate more offense Ottawa Senators head coach Paul MacLean is considering reuniting captain Daniel Alfredsson with his top pairing of Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek.

The trio combined to score 96 goals during the regular season, but Alfredsson played on the second line with Kyle Turris, and Nick Foligno for the majority of the year while Colin Greening manned Spezza’s right wing.

The decision is a high risk, high reward type of move because it could make the Senators that much easier to shut down by giving the New York Rangers only one real scoring line to have to worry about, but if they are able to get loose they could wreak havoc on the Rangers defence.

Then all they have to do is beat Henrik Lundqvist which is no easy task.

Greening will now move to play on the third line along side Zack Smith and Chris Neil. This line will serve as the Senators de facto energy line that will be expected to finish their checks, and play a dump-and-chase game. All three players are solid defenders, play well without the puck and are able to chip in offensively.

Erik Condra, who scored Ottawa’s second goal in game one, will move up to play on the second line with Turris, and Foligno.

What ever the line combinations end up being during game two, Ottawa will have to bring a more consistent effort if they hope to gain a split in New York. The Senators can ill afford to return to Scotiabank Place down 2-0, and out working the Rangers will be the first step in evening the series.

MacLean indicated that there would be no changes to his game day roster meaning that Matt Carkner, Bobby Butler, Rob Klinkhammer, and Zenon Konopka will join goaltender Alex Auld to form the “Black Aces.”



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