Minor injury for Zibanejad

Mika Zibanejad was hanging around the Canadian Tire Centre on Friday, watching his teammates practice.

Minor injury for Zibanejad
Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres makes a toe save on a scoring chance by Mika Zibanejad #93 of the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on December 12, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mika Zibanejad was hanging around the Canadian Tire Centre on Friday, watching his teammates practice.

But after leaving Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers with an upper-body injury, he was under the caution flag and not allowed to practice.

His return will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

He could even play on Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes, but that decision won’t be made until the morning.

Coach Paul MacLean wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of Zibanejad’s issue, steadfastly calling it only an upper-body injury, though there was some speculation that Zibanejad, who has had concussions in the past, may have suffered a slight one.

MacLean did say it was a relief that Zibanejad was not seriously injured.

“He’s been playing well for us, so, yeah, we’re looking forward to coming in (Saturday) and saying ‘Yeah, he’s playing for us,’ that he’s ready to go, but right now we can’t say that,” he said.

MacLean didn’t anticipate recalling a forward from Binghamton as insurance for Saturday’s game, but that hasn’t been ruled out for Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa’s last contest before the Christmas break.

If Zibanejad is unable to play against the Coyotes, it is likely that Cory Conacher will draw back in.

LINEUP CHANGES

Against the Coyotes, Craig Anderson will be in goal. He was in net for Ottawa’s 4-3 overtime win on Oct. 15 in Phoenix. The only other change will see Joe Corvo come out and Eric Gryba go in on defence.

HOLIDAY BREAK

After Monday’s game, the Senators will have three days off before playing the Bruins in Boston on Dec. 27.

Because the collective bargaining agreement mandates three days off for Christmas, the Senators will fly into Boston on the day of the game, instead of the day before.

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