The Ottawa Senators will be without their leading scorer, Mark Stone, for the next two games.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Monday that Stone, 23, has been suspended for two games following an illegal check to the head in Saturday’s outing against the Detroit Red Wings. Midway through the second period of Saturday’s game, Stone caught Red Wings right winger Landon Ferraro with a shoulder to the head and was issued a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head:
Following the hit, Ferraro missed five minutes of action, but returned to the game and played another 10 shifts. There was no long-term injury sustained by Ferraro on the play, however. That said, even though Stone has no suspension history, his hit was still deemed dangerous enough to warrant a two-game ban. Stone will miss Ottawa’s Tuesday tilt against the Montreal Canadiens and Thursday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.
Through 11 games this season, Stone has scored three goals and 13 points and was averaging 20 minutes per game. He’ll leave a significant hole on the Senators’ top line, where he was skating alongside Kyle Turris and Shane Prince over the past three games.
There may be some good news for the Senators, however, as Ottawa’s top-line winger Mike Hoffman, who has missed the past four games with a lower-body ailment, may be ready to return to the lineup. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported Max McCormick was return to the AHL and Hoffman, who has four goals and eight points in seven games, could be ready for Tuesday.
Should Hoffman be ready to go Tuesday, Senators bench boss Dave Cameron will be able to reunite hit top unit of Hoffman, Turris and Stone Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes.