Duchene, Stone, Dzingel scratched by Senators as Trade Deadline nears
Forwards miss game against Devils, each can become UFA on July 1by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer
NEWARK, N.J. -- Matt Duchene, Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel were healthy scratches for the Ottawa Senators in a 4-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV) with four days remaining until the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline.
Each of the forwards can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The trade deadline is Monday at 3 p.m. ET.
Devils forward Marcus Johansson and defenseman Ben Lovejoy were healthy scratches.
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The Senators (22-33-5) trail the Carolina Hurricanes by 21 points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with 22 games remaining. The Devils (24-29-8) trail the Hurricanes by 14 points with 21 games remaining.
Duchene, Stone and Dzingel participated in practice here Wednesday.
According to multiple reports this week, Duchene opted not to sign a contract and the Senators have decided to trade him. The center is second on Ottawa with 58 points (27 goals, 31 assists), and has scored 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his past seven games.
Stone, Ottawa's leading scorer with 62 points (28 goals, 34 assists), received a contract offer last week from the Senators, but the 26-year-old's camp requested more time to think about it, according to the Ottawa Sun. The Senators gave him 48 hours to determine if he wanted to sign a new contract, a window that was to expire Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, according to the Sun.
Dzingel is the Senators' fourth-leading scorer with 44 points (22 goals, 22 assists). The 26-year-old has scored 20 goals for a second straight season.
"You don't really have a choice, so it doesn't really matter to me," Dzingel said after practice Wednesday. "If it happens, you pack your stuff up and move on. It's a business and my fiancee and family know that, so it's pretty much that simple."
The Winnipeg Free Press reported Monday that Senators GM Pierre Dorion met with Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff in Cheveldayoff's suite during the second intermission of an American Hockey League game between Milwaukee and Manitoba at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg on Sunday. The meeting increased speculation about the Jets' interest in Duchene, Dzingel and Stone.
Johansson and Lovejoy participated in the morning skate Thursday.
Acquired by the Devils in a trade with the Washington Capitals for two draft picks on July 2, 2017, Johansson has 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) in 48 games this season. Injuries limited the 28-year-old to 29 games last season when he had 14 points (five goals, nine assists).
He had been filling in for injured left wing Taylor Hall, who will miss his 26th straight game with a lower-body injury.
Lovejoy, who is in the final season of a three-year contract he signed with the Devils on July 1, 2016, won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2015-16. On the penalty kill, the 35-year-old is averaging 3:46 of ice time and has 28 blocked shots and 11 hits.
Lovejoy, who has nine points (two goals, five assists) in 51 games this season, said getting another chance to play for a Stanley Cup is always on his mind.
"It's absolutely something I think about all the time," he said Feb. 9. "If I do get traded, I'll go to a new team and give them everything I have."