Senators notebook: Another injury setback for Stone

Mark Stone stepped on a puck, lost his balance and crashed awkwardly into the boards during Ottawa Senators practice late Monday morning.

Senators notebook: Another injury setback for Stone
Mark Stone collapses after hitting the boards and injuring his wrist or hand. Ottawa Senators practice at the Bell Sensplex Monday morning before heading off to Washington for another stint of away games. (Julie Oliver/Ottawa Citizen)

WASHINGTON — Mark Stone stepped on a puck, lost his balance and crashed awkwardly into the boards during Ottawa Senators practice late Monday morning.

Then he slammed his good hand against the boards in frustration, knowing that he had been hit by yet another setback in a young career that has already been filled with more than enough injuries.

Stone eventually left the ice favouring his hand and/or wrist and didn’t accompany the team to Washington later Monday for the start of the four-game road trip which will also take the Senators to Tampa Bay, Carolina and Columbus.

There was no word from the Senators Monday on the exact nature or severity of the injury, but the Senators did recall centre Stephane Da Costa from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to take Stone’s place in the lineup for Tuesday’s game against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. Da Costa, who played seven games with the Senators to start the season, ranks seventh in the AHL scoring with 12 goals and 25 assists in 37 games.

“If it turns out to be something significant, we’ll be disappointed for a little bit, but we have a game to play (Tuesday) and right now, (Stone) is not going to be in it,” Senators coach Paul MacLean said before Da Costa was recalled.

Where all the pieces will fit Tuesday against Washington is anybody’s guess — it’s possible Zack Smith could slide to left wing from centre and play on a line with Jason Spezza — but what isn’t in doubt is Stone’s incredible string of bad luck during his pro career.

Let us recount the recent sick bay history for the 21-year-old right winger:

–In the Binghamton Senators’ season opener for the 2013-14 season, he suffered a severe shoulder injury.

–In his only NHL playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins last May, Stone went down with a high ankle sprain, an injury which kept him off the ice for most of the summer.

–As the NHL lockout ended early in 2013, Stone lost any chance of winning an NHL roster spot after suffering a broken finger, which also kept him sidelined from Binghamton’s roster for six weeks.

If there was any good news for the Senators following Monday’s workout, it’s that right winger Bobby Ryan travelled with the team to Washington. Ryan missed Monday’s practice for what coach Paul MacLean deemed a “maintenance day,” but he’s expected to play against the Capitals.

If Stone’s injury ends up being long-term, it could spur Senators general manager Bryan Murray to search a bit harder, and a bit faster, to find a scoring winger to play alongside Spezza.

GOODBYE GRUBAUER

Sunday was a rough day for Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer. He was pulled after allowing three goals on eight shots in a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers and was then assigned to Hershey of the AHL. It’s expected that Braden Holtby will get the start for Washington against the Senators.

EXTRA TIME

The Capitals are making a habit of extending games. They’ve now gone beyond regulation in 18 games, posting a 10-8 record in extra time (including an 8-6 mark in shootouts). Washington has only 14 wins in regulation or overtime, the least of all the Eastern Conference teams vying for the bottom few playoff spots in the East. That’s the first tiebreaker if clubs are even in points at the end of the regular season.

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