|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 21, 2019
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey Attendance: 12,964
Trade rumors abound as Senators visit Devils
The Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils may soon take on a vastly different look with Monday's NHL trade deadline looming on the horizon.
Several high-profile players could be auditioning in front of scouts from contending clubs on Thursday as the cellar-dwelling teams meet in Newark, N.J.
The league-worst Senators (22-32-5, 49 points) have lost eight of their last 11 and are rumored to be shopping pending unrestricted free agent forwards Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel. Stone leads Ottawa in goals (28) and points (61), while Duchene has 27 and 58, respectively. Dzingel's 22 tallies are one shy of his career high, and he already has personal bests in assists (22) and points (44).
"I'm coaching. That's not for me," Senators coach Guy Boucher told the Ottawa Sun of the potential trade talk. "I'm coaching, and all the best players are going to be on the ice because I'm the coach. That's not for me."
Stone, who is an alternate captain, avoided arbitration last summer by signing a one-year, $7.35 million contract with the Senators. He has spent his entire career in Ottawa since being drafted by the club in 2010.
The 26-year-old Stone scored his sixth goal in as many games during the Senators' wild 8-7 setback in Chicago on Monday, and he added an assist for his fourth multi-point performance in that stretch. He scored two goals and set up three others in Ottawa's 7-3 win against the Devils on Nov. 6 and added an assist on Duchene's power-play tally in a 5-2 loss in New Jersey on Dec. 21.
Speaking of Duchene, he had two assists against the Blackhawks to boost his point total to 21 (12 goals, nine assists) in his past 17 games. The 28-year-old, who tallied twice in the latter meeting with the Devils, reportedly is not expected to be in the lineup on Thursday as the Senators attempt to avoid risk of injury prior to the trade deadline.
"For me, (the deadline) is a whatever," defenseman Dylan DeMelo told the Ottawa Sun. "Maybe the guys who are in it want some closure in that regard, but for me, and for everybody else, it's been business as usual and taking a professional approach to it."
Marcus Johansson has been one of the Devils' most productive players of late. The pending unrestricted free agent forward, who has a five-team no-trade list in his contract, recorded his third multi-point performance in his past six games with a goal and an assist in Tuesday's 4-3 setback to Pittsburgh.
"I play for the Devils, and I go out every night and try to do my best," Johansson told NJ.com. "That's all I can do. That's all I can control. I'm here to play hockey, and that's what I'm trying to do now."
"He's a high, high character kid. He's a great teammate, he's a great kid to coach," Devils coach John Hynes said of the 28-year-old Swede. "And I think now, he's been injury free. He has good chemistry with Jesper (Bratt). Nico (Hischier's) game has taken a step too, and that helps Marcus."
Bratt has two goals and four assists during his four-game point streak, while Hischier has six points (one goal, five assists) in his last six contests. Hischier also has registered one goal and three assists in the two encounters with the Senators this season.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 20, 2019