|Senators forward Nick Foligno waits to hit the ice with his teammates for their game Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Place. Foligno suffered a broken leg while blocking a shot in the third period and is out for six to eight weeks (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images).
On a Saturday of celebration at Scotiabank Place, the Ottawa Senators’ forward ranks suffered another cruel blow.
Hockey Day in Canada brought the Senators an emotional 3-2 overtime victory over the Montreal Canadiens, allowing Ottawa to set a franchise record with its ninth straight victory. Then came the sobering news – forward Nick Foligno
is gone for six to eight weeks with a broken right leg.
The 22-year-old Buffalo native struggled to get back to the bench after being felled by a Marc-Andre Bergeron slap shot late in the third period. Senators general manager Bryan Murray confirmed the worst shortly after Mike Fisher’s overtime goal vanquished the Habs.
“He made a courageous play, just getting down in front of (Bergeron’s shot),” said Murray. “When you lose a player that is playing (the way) he has been lately, it’s very disappointing – and very disappointing for him.
“Nobody has enough depth anyways, and then to lose a young player like that … but we know that he’ll heal and after the Olympic break, we’ll have a chance to get him back.”
It’s been a particularly tough season on the injury front for Foligno, who missed six games in December after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. Though it didn’t always show on the scoreboard, the gritty winger had been playing some of his best hockey of the season and was a key contributor to the team’s current hot streak.
“He’s competing hard and he’s moving his feet,” Senators head coach Cory Clouston said when asked about Foligno’s improved play in recent games. “That’s where it starts from. He’s got to move his feet. When he moves his feet, he’s first on pucks, he protects pucks very well and he’s real strong in the corners and in front of the net
“To me, that’s the mental part of the game, being ready to do that every game, game in and game out. I thought the last four of five games, he’s had his level really high … his mental preparation is key. When he’s ready to go, he’s very effective.”