OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators injured reserve is getting a little crowded.
Veteran forward Bobby Ryan joined Matt Duchene on the Senators IR on Saturday. According to Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion, both injuries happened in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Montreal with Duchene expected to miss week with a groin injury and Ryan out indefinitely with a concussion.
Ryan had six goals and 12 assists in 29 games, while Duchene leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and 34 points. Replacing their offensive numbers will be difficult, but the Senators are trying to remain positive.
“Any time when you lose guys of that calibre it’s going to hurt,” said goalie Craig Anderson. “But like I said you can’t look at it as the woe is me, you’ve got to look at it as an opportunity for another guy to step in and fill that role and pick up some of those points that those guys are leaving on the table.
“It gives us an opportunity for other guys to step in and fill roles that they probably wouldn’t be in.”
The Senators are also without defenceman Mark Borowiecki, but Dorion was hopeful he could return sometime next week.
Ottawa (12-14-3) sits five points out of a playoff spot, but all season the team has stressed the importance of playing as a group and that message will now be reinforced.
“We can’t have guys try to do too much,” said Brady Tkachuk. “It’s adversity and we have to face it. It’s the NHL and injuries happen so it’s just stepping up and trying to do your part, work your hardest and try to do it for your teammates.”
Ottawa is coming off back-to-back 5-2 losses to the Montreal Canadiens and the road ahead is no easier as they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, the Boston Bruins on Sunday and head to Nashville to face the Predators on Tuesday. Ottawa then has eight more games before the end of 2018.
“There’s a lot of games this month so we just need to battle through it,” Tkachuk said. “We’ve got adversity tonight to just bounce back. It’s a great team we’re playing so it should be a good test.”
Max McCormick, who hasn’t played the last six games, will be back in the lineup and Nick Paul was recalled from the American Hockey League’s Belleville Senators.
Max Lajoie is also expected to be back in the lineup after missing the last three games.
Senators head coach Guy Boucher said he hadn’t yet decided if he would go with 12 forwards and six defencemen or play 11 forwards and seven defencemen.