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Senators call up former first-round pick Zibanejad

Mika Zibanejad was called up by the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

The Senators' first selection, sixth overall, at the 2011 draft, was in Ottawa enjoying a few days off due to the American Hockey League All-Star break when he received a call saying the Senators wanted him at practice.

"I got the call this morning so it was nice,'' Zibanejad said. "It was a bit surprising since I was on the break, but I'm just happy to be here now.''

Senators general manager Bryan Murray felt the timing was right for Senators coach Paul MacLean and his staff to get a look at Zibanejad, who had goals in three of his past five AHL games.

"He's starting to play well,'' Murray said. "I think he's a guy that Paul will want to give a game or so to right now and find out a little more about him. As I say his speed and his size should be an asset for us.''

Zibanejad missed 18 straight games earlier this season with a number of health issues. He had complications with his wisdom teeth, had a throat virus and was then knocked out by a stomach flu.

MacLean said he didn't anticipate Zibanejad playing Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals.

But if Daniel Alfredsson, who missed Sunday's game against Pittsburgh, remains sidelined with the flu that could change.

"He's been playing well in Binghamton and he's on his All-Star break and we have a roster spot,'' MacLean said. "We want to take a look at Mika and see how he looks.''

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