But as the Sens demonstrated on Wednesday night, they are more than capable of competing without their Captain.
For the third straight game, the Sens seemed to take the play to the Rangers and they'll be looking for more of the same in Game 5. Something that Sens have not been able to do yet in this series is lead a hockey game. It has been well documented over the past couple days but with their two wins coming in overtime, the Senators have actually never held a lead in this series.
Obviously they would love to score the first goal tonight and force the Rangers to play catch up.
On the Rangers side of things, you have to think we'll see their best effort of the series. They are the top seed in the East and must be feeling the heat after the Senators overtime victory in Game 4, a game in which they blew a two goal lead. They have to be better tonight.
With both Alfredsson and Winchester unavailable for Game 5, MacLean has been forced to shuffle his line up a little bit.
World Junior Star and blue chip prospect Mark Stone appears as though he will draw into the line up. While MacLean would not confirm the line up change, a tweet from Ian Mendes indicated that Stone sounded like a guy that expects to play. Talk about being thrown into the fire. Fascinated to see how Stone looks in his NHL debut.
Here is how the Sens are expected to line up.
Craig Anderson gets the start in the Ottawa goal. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:00 PM with the game available on CBC.
GO SENS GO!