OTTAWA – As the Ottawa Senators prepare to face the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday evening, Paul MacLean is once again shuffling his lines in an effort to boost offensive production.
This time, MacLean revealed that 19-year-old forward Mika Zibanejad will play centre on a line with Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek.
“We’re not trying to have him be something he’s not, we’re just trying to have him be what he can be,” said MacLean after practice on Monday.
“We’re putting the lines together to try and find a way to create some offence.”
While this switch up provides a great opportunity for Zibanejad to get his game going, it also could help the struggling Milan Michalek.
Michalek, who scored a career-high 35 goals last season, has struggled with the absence of line mate Jason Spezza (back). The 28-year-old Czech native has only two goals and seven points in 12 games this season.
Putting Michalek with Alfredsson might be the ingredient to spark him back to life. Captain Alfie also only has seven points this season, but the 40-year-old has scored in two of the last three games, and has had created plenty of offensive chances.
These changes mean Kyle Turris is now expected to play centre on a line with Jacob Silfverberg and Colin Greening.
Craig Anderson will start against the Sabres, after taking a rest on the weekend.
Centre Peter Regin will not play Tuesday against Buffalo. Regin is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury, suffered in Saturday’s dismal 1-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
Meanwhile, there is no time-table on the return of Guillaume Latendresse (whiplash).