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Stone earns respect by playing with injury

by NHL.com Feature / Ottawa Senators

MONTREAL -- Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone earned the respect of his teammates in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.

The 22-year-old rookie had two assists in a 3-2 overtime loss while playing with a microfracture and ligament damage in his right wrist after he was slashed by Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban in Game 1 on Wednesday.

Stone had the primary assist when Clarke MacArthur scored to give the Senators a 1-0 lead in the first period and on Patrick Wiercioch's game-tying power-play goal with 6:35 left in the third period.

"[Stone's] a character guy for us," MacArthur said. "He's going to battle through it and do what he has to do. That's all you can ask of a teammate. For him to step in there as a young guy, it's gritty of him. Hats off to him.

"It's that time of year when you need guys to step up and be a man, and that's what he is. It's great having him in there and it makes you want to go that much harder when he's out there."

Montreal leads the best-of-7 series 2-0. Game 3 will be at Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Stone, playing on Ottawa's top line with MacArthur and center Kyle Turris, had 47 points in the Senators' last 46 games of the regular season to help them earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Stone said the decision to play was up to him after he tested his wrist at the morning skate.

"It didn't look good last night," Stone said. "Did a few things this morning, got comfortable with it and was OK to go.

"It was up to me, really. They had to see if I could have motion. At the end of the day, went out for warm-up and felt healthy enough to think that I could help this team."

That's all Ottawa coach Dave Cameron needed to hear.

"He felt he could contribute, so that was an easy decision to put him in," he said.

Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki said Stone's presence in the lineup showed the type of person he is.

"For me, it's just nice to see him kind of stick it to those people who were questioning him and his toughness," Borowiecki said. "He's the most passionate guy about hockey I know. He's one of the most intense guys I know. He's not faking it. To see him come out there and battle and be a warrior in the playoffs, it's good to see."

When asked how the injury affected his game, Stone said, "Playing through some pain, that's the only difference."

Stone, who averaged nearly two shots on goal per game in the regular season (157 in 80 games), did not attempt any in Game 2.

"I didn't see any shots I liked, I guess," he said.

Down 2-0 in the series going back to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Wednesday, Stone said the Senators can draw on their experience in the regular season, when they climbed out of a 14-point hole to earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We've been a never-say-die team for the last three months," he said. "We had to work and claw our way out of things. This is no different. We're in a hole, but we're going home. We like the way we're playing. We just have to find ways to get more goals in the end."

Stone said he likely will play in Game 3.

"If I feel like I did tonight, I'll be able to go," he said.

Author: Chris Stevenson | NHL.com Correspondent

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