A couple hours before Thursday’s game, word floated through the press room that Sean O’Donnell might not be able to play because of flu-like symptoms. O’Donnell, though, recovered enough to play, and play a lot. O’Donnell was on the ice for more than eight minutes in the first period — thanks in part to two Columbus power plays — and, along with the other defensemen, had to pick up some slack when Jack Johnson left with his arm injury in the second period.
O’DONNELL: “Sweat it out, right? I just woke up from my nap — I felt fine during the day — but I woke up from my nap and just felt a little off, a little lightheaded, a little queasy. I talked to Kinger [trainer Chris Kingsley] about it and gave a head’s up to Terry (Murray), to bring Jonesy [Randy Jones] down just in case, but I felt fine.”’
Murray did have Jones participate in the pregame warmup, along with O’Donnell, but when it was determined that O’Donnell could play, Jones was made a healthy scratch.
MURRAY: “He got checked out by the Columbus doctor here. It was just a little lightheaded-ness. Whether it was a touch of the flu — he thought, at the start — or whatever, I don’t know, but he came to the rink and was feeling much better. He got through the warmup and got the thumbs up. So he was right back in there.”
O’Donnell also enjoyed some good-natured ribbing after it was pointed out to him that defensive partner Matt Greene had tied him in goals this season, with two…
O’DONNELL: “Tied in goals, but I think I’m three or four points ahead of him, so it’s done. A four-point lead is insurmountable, with only 30 games left, near 30. The game is done.”
O’Donnell relayed his message a couple locker stalls over, to Greene, who conceded defeat. “Not a chance,” Greene said. “I need a preseason and a full playoffs.”