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Pascal Leclaire and Filip Kuba close to returning for Ottawa

Nov 1, 2010, 3:09 PM EDT

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If the Ottawa Senators needed something to pick up their spirits at all, the news of defenseman Filip Kuba and goalie Pascal Leclaire being nearly healthy enough to return to action should do the trick. Allan Panzeri of The Ottawa Citizen has the update.

Leclaire, on his way back from a groin injury, could serve as Elliott’s backup on Tuesday against the Maple Leafs and could be in net on Thursday against the Islanders.

That would allow the Senators to get Robin Lehner’s $856,452 NHL salary off the books and get the Swedish rookie back to Binghamton of the American Hockey League, where he can start playing games.

Defenceman Filip Kuba (broken leg) could also return either Thursday or Saturday.

Leclaire is most definitely ready as the Senators sent rookie goalie Robin Lehner back to AHL Binghamton today, so Leclaire’s return is on schedule. Leclaire will likely hop back into the role in the short time of splitting starts with Brian Elliott and seeing who ends up as the hot hand. Leclaire was off to a nice start this season, but how he comes back from this injury will be curious to see.
As for Kuba, getting him back in the lineup will provide a boost to a defensive unit that’s been decidedly mediocre so far this year. Sergei Gonchar has looked his age, Erik Karlsson has looked to be in over his head, Chris Phillips is still consistent but he’s not a point-producer for them. Kuba gets the Sens another power play guru at the least and helping the Sens questionable offense ought to make a difference.

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