Fresh off their first-round elimination of the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators had a familiar face back on the ice on Sunday.
No. 1 center Jason Spezza practiced with his teammates for the first time since undergoing back surgery for a herniated disk on Feb. 1 and says it was nice to take another step in his recovery.
''It's been a long process and a long season for me,'' Spezza said. ''It felt good to join the team again and get some reps in. It may not seem like it and I may not play this year, but for me it's a small victory.''
Despite speculation that Spezza could be done for the season, the fact the 29-year-old took part in a full practice was encouraging for the Senators, who will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the playoffs.
Spezza, who had been skating on his own before joining Ottawa's AHL callups for more training, says he had some ''ups and downs'' over the course of his recovery but made improvements over the past few weeks that allowed hi...