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Jason Spezza back skating for Ottawa Senators, may return Round 2

By Marcus Hondro     May 12, 2013 in Sports
Despite their first round win over the second seed Montreal Canadiens, pundits may not now consider the Ottawa Senators a legitimate threat for the Stanley Cup. But if they get back star center Jason Spezza that may change, and it looks as if they will.
Spezza is skating now with the team's Black Aces, traditionally the name given to AHL and other call-ups who practice on their own and keep prepared in the event injuries occur to the main club during playoffs. Skating with them is the first step back for Spezza before working out with the team itself and then returning to the line-up.
Senators Spezza feeling "stronger"
The talented center, 29, was 34-50-84 in 80 games last season and started strongly with 5 points in 5 games this season before a herniated disc and required surgery. There's no time frame on when he could get back into the line-up but the Sens are saying he is likely to make an appearance sometime in round 2.
"He's skating much harder, competing much better and feeling much stronger," Sens GM Bryan Murray told Ottawa's Team 1200 AM on Friday. "Skating with the black aces is a more serious involvement for him. He's got to practice a few times with the team before Paul (coach Paul MacLean) thinks about making a change, but there's light at the end of the tunnel."
It won't be easy for Spezza to get back on the ice and compete with players who've been in game shape for months but even a Spezza not up to speed will be helpful to Ottawa. In 53 career playoff games, Spezza has 51 points.
Ottawa beat Montreal in 5 games in the first round and will play Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla and the Pittsburgh Penguins when round 2 gets underway next week.
More about jason spezza, Ottawa senators, round two senators, NHL stanley Cup playoffs, Pittsburgh penguins
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