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Senators forward Stone has microfracture in wrist

by Arpon Basu

MONTREAL -- Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone sustained a microfracture and ligament damage to his right wrist in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday and his availability for the remainder of the series is unknown, Senators general manager Bryan Murray said Thursday.

"He came back [Wednesday] night as a courageous guy after being hurt," Murray said. "I listened to some people talk that he sold it pretty good, but he was hurt."

Murray could not say with any clarity what the chances are of Stone returning in the series and couldn't confirm that he would miss Game 2 of the series at Bell Centre on Friday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Senators trail the Canadiens in the best-of-7 series 1-0.

"I would assume [Stone will miss Game 2]," Murray said. "I think the trainers have worked on him and tried to do things, and Mark is willing to take shots or whatever it is. But he has no mobility at this point at all."

Stone was slashed by Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban in the second period of Montreal's 4-3 win. Subban received a five-minute major and game misconduct. Stone left the game and returned later in the second period to play three shifts after the slash. He started the third period, but left the ice after 24 seconds and went back to the dressing room, returning near the midway point with the Senators down a goal. He played four shifts over the final eight minutes of the game, including two shifts that totaled 2:01 over the final 4:13.

There was a scrum after the final horn sounded resulting in three misconduct and two roughing penalties, and Stone was involved in it throwing punches.

The Senators announced Stone's injury while the team was hitting the ice for practice Thursday, and afterward his teammates were disappointed but hopeful Stone would not be lost for too long.

Stone's regular center, Kyle Turris, initially said the play was typical of the hockey played this time of year.

"It's playoff hockey. It's ugly," Turris said. "It looked like a pretty good slash to me. It's going to get physical. It was in Game 1 and it's going to continue to be ugly."

But when asked if Subban's slash is a normal part of the game, Turris said no.

"When it's a baseball swing slash I don't think so," he said. "In the playoffs, you get slashes here and there and you get away with some things. But when it's that blatant, to harm a person like that is a little dangerous. There is a line during the regular season, there's a line in the playoffs, and it's up to the League to decide if that was crossed."

Murray was upset that the Department of Player Safety decided not to impose supplemental discipline on Subban for the slash.

"I thought the referees made the right call on the ice, obviously," Murray said. "But I thought also after knowing the extent of the injury that something further should be considered."

Murray claimed Subban threatened Stone earlier in the game and attempted to slash him off faceoffs two previous times, something Senators players mentioned and Subban denied doing.

"No. I play tough against everybody out there, so I don't ever remember targeting him or saying anything like that to him," Subban said.

The Senators have seemingly lost Stone for an undetermined period of time, taking one of the top offensive players in the NHL out of the lineup.

Stone scored 26 goals and 64 points in 80 games, but had 47 points in his final 46 games since Jan. 1, including eight goals and five assists during a nine-game point streak to end the regular season.

"He's been if not the best player, one of the top-five players in the League in the last two months of the year," Murray said. "It's a huge loss. Even if he can play limited at some point in the series, it's a huge loss to our hockey team."

The Senators have to move on and focus on winning without Stone while avoiding the temptation of seeking retribution for his injury.

Senators coach Dave Cameron replaced Stone with Milan Michalek on the top line with Turris and Clarke MacArthur at practice Thursday, with Alex Chiasson taking Michalek's spot on the second line alongside Mika Zibanejad and Bobby Ryan.

The lineup spot opened by Stone's absence was filled on the fourth line by veteran Chris Neil, who brings a physical presence and 91 games of Stanley Cup Playoff experience but who has not played since Feb. 14.

"I think for us we've just got to go out and win Game 2. You can't do too much about that kind of stuff," Neil said. "The refs made the call and I think the League reviewed it and I don't think there's any actions or consequences for it. So for us, if he's skating up the ice with his head down, you take a check on him. That's how you get him back."

Cameron and his players stressed that discipline and focus will be paramount for the Senators in Game 2, even more than they usually are in the playoffs.

"One of our keys is discipline over emotion," Cameron said. "And that's what we'll preach. The best way to get even is to win the hockey game. That's what our focus is on. It's not about retaliation. It's about playing physical hockey whistle to whistle. Finding ways to win the game. That's where our energy's going to be spent."

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