The Ottawa Senators will have to go without one of their key defenders tonight, as Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia reports that Nikita Zaitsev is back in Russia for personal reasons. Zaitsev has been logging more than 23 minutes for the Senators this season, his first with the team after following head coach D.J. Smith up the highway from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Vladislav Namestnikov has a tailbone injury and will be out a week, according to Garrioch. That’s a tough break for a player that has found new life in Ottawa, scoring six goals and 12 points through his 20 games since being acquired from the New York Rangers. Namestnikov, who turns 27 today, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.
- As CapFriendly points out, these recalls have stretched the Senators organizational depth incredibly thin, at least on defense. The team has just a single defenseman, Andreas Englund, still in the minor leagues on an NHL contract. Lassi Thomson and Olle Alsing have also signed their entry-level deals, but were both loaned away at the start of the season. If the team suffers any further injuries, we could see an interesting recall.