When talking about the Ottawa Senators’ surge into relevancy in the Wild Card battle, the name that most often comes up is that of goaltender Andrew Hammond’s. That’s easily justifiable given the run he’s enjoyed since mid-February, but he’s far from the only cause of Ottawa’s late season success.
Rookie forward Mark Stone has been another major factor. Going into tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Stone had 11 goals and 37 points in 40 games since the start of 2015. He kept that incredible run going Thursday night with a goal just 5:03 minutes into the first period:
That was Stone’s 20th marker of the 2014-15 campaign. He’s emerged as a contender for the Calder Trophy, although Nashville’s Filip Forsberg and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau are still ahead of him in the rookie scoring race.
Ottawa is three points behind Boston in the battle for the second Wild Card spot, but the Senators have played in one less game.