One is a raw rookie, the other is competing on a wounded knee. But for the banged up, goals-starved, Ottawa Senators, the sight of wingers Mark Stone and Milan Michalek was a modern version of the cavalry arriving in an old Western movie. Michalek, who has been out since suffering knee swelling during the pre-game warmup in Pittsburgh on Feb. 13 (the fateful night of Erik Karlsson’s injury), will return to the Senators lineup against the Maple Leafs Wednesday. Stone, who suffered a broken finger while playing for AHL Binghamton on Jan. 26, could be inserted, as well. Head coach Paul MacLean said a decision will be made on Stone’s status Wednesday. If either or both can do anything to help Ottawa’s anemic offensive production, it will be a drink of water to a thirsty team. “With Milan we’re geting someone that has the ability to shoot the puck in the net for us,” MacLean said. Indeed, Michalek’s 35 goals last season led the team. “And Mark Stone has a history of doing that in his junior days.” It’s worth remembering Michalek had only scored two goals in 13 games for the Senators this season. But with so many rookies in the lineup, captain Daniel Alfredsson said the club is glad to have Michalek’s “leadership, speed and skills” back on the ice. A word of caution: while Michalek’s knee swelling has subsided, the knee issue has not completely gone away. It’s the same knee that required major surgery in 2010 and he will likely need a surgical clean up when the season is over, assuming his knee holds up for the final weeks.
Senators thrilled to see some of wounded return
Ottawa Citizen | Mar 6