Senators relax on a day off Saturday but back on the ice Sunday

After having Friday and Saturday off, the Senators will be back on the ice at 11 a.m. on Sunday to begin preparations for Round 2.
The break was particularly welcome for players who logged big minutes in the first round: Erik Karlsson, Sergei Gonchar, Marc Methot, Chris Phillips, Kyle Turris, and Daniel Alfredsson.
“It was very important, no matter who we’re playing in the next round,” said Phillips.
“It’s going to be a tough series, and to be able to rest up and get guys back to 100 per cent is very beneficial.”
Karlsson logged the most time in the first round, an average of 26.49 minutes per game, followed closely by Gonchar at 23:04.
Karlsson’s average should have been higher, after playing 29:11, 29:38, 28:04, and 28:02, respectively, in the first four games. But in the fifth game he played only 19:12.
The 40-year-old Alfredsson also played his fewest minutes in the fifth game, 15:40.
In the other four games, he played 18:19, 20:23, 18:26, and 20:57.
In the five games, the 39-year-old Gonchar played 20:29, 22:12, 25:58, 24:31, and 22:10.
Methot – and how valuable an acquisition has he been? – played 22:21, 20:24, 24;22, 20:27, and 20:32 in the five games.
Coach Paul MacLean said not only was the first round emotionally difficult, it was also physically difficult, because that’s the type of hockey the Senators play.
“So having the opportunity to rest and heal the body – a little bit, because we don’t to get so that it feels too good, we want to be sure we’re able to come back and play hard again – these two days here, we’re trying to take advantage of, and it’s not only good for their bodies but also for their minds,” he said on Saturday.
The players as well as the coach were preparing to be in front of their televisions on Saturday night, especially with the possibility that their second-round opponent could emerge.
Phillips said he’d be watching Saturday’s games – in particular the sixth game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders – as a hockey fan and a player interested in his next opponent.
“I can’t control what’s going to happen (Saturday night), but I’ll pay attention and watch and we’ll see what happens,” said Phillips.
“Whoever we end up playing is not going to be easy. They’re all strong teams and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

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