The Ottawa Senators are set to receive a big boost Monday night with the return of captain Daniel Alfredsson, who missed the past three games of the first round series against the Rangers due to a concussion.
"I feel good," said the 39-year-old Swede. "[Sunday] went well, and I expected to feel good. I’m looking forward to [Monday]."
Senators coach Paul MacLean believes his players will get an emotional lift from having the franchise’s all-time scoring leader back on the ice, as the Senators look to close out the series on home ice.
"He is the captain, he’s been here a long time, I think it means a lot to us to have him back in the lineup," MacLean said. "I think he can make the power play better, and just having him in there is going to be a good shot for our team."
Meantime, speedy rookie Carl Hagelin will return for the top-seeded Blueshirts in Game 6 after a three-game suspension for the Game 2 hit that sidelined Alfredsson.
Hagelin is a key piece of the Rangers’ top line, playing left wing alongside stars Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. He has been particularly effective for the Rangers on the forecheck, pressuring opposing defensemen into making turnovers.
"I’m just gonna try to do my job," Hagelin told the New York Post. "Get on pucks, use my speed. The way I played this year, I tried to create turnovers, and I need to do the same thing now."
With Hagelin out of the lineup, the Rangers have scored just three goals in the past three games, including only one at even strength.