Short-handed Senators attempt to regroup vs. Devils

When the Ottawa Senators face off with the New Jersey Devils for the second time in less than a week Tuesday night at the Prudential Center, their lineup could have a distinctly different look.

Since their 3-0 win in New Jersey on Thursday, the Senators (31-20-6) lost right wing Bobby Ryan to a finger injury that will keep him sidelined for an indefinite period. Then, they had three more forwards injured in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

The team’s leading goal scorer, Mark Stone, was knocked out of the game when elbowed in the head by Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba, who was suspended two games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Monday.

The Senators also lost their second-leading goal scorer, Mike Hoffman, to an upper-body injury and center Tommy Wingels left in the third period after being checked hard into the boards by Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.

The trio’s availability for Tuesday’s contest with the Devils (25-24-10) is not known since the Senators did not practice on Monday.

“Right now, it looks like a disaster,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said following the home-ice loss to Winnipeg. “Maybe the disaster is not as bad as we think. Right now, I’d rather be ready for anything.”

The Senators recalled two forwards, Casey Bailey and Max McCormick, from Binghamton of the American Hockey League before traveling to New Jersey. Both appeared in five games earlier this season with Ottawa, and neither recorded a point.

The injuries could not have come at a worse time for the Senators, who surged in the standings and are only two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division, while holding two games in hand.

“It’s unfortunate that we lost those players like that, some of our best players,” Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau said to the team’s website. “So, some guys have to step up now, and we have to stay positive, too.”

Ottawa comes in to play Tuesday having won four of its last six games, including that victory in New Jersey last week in which Mike Condon stopped all 21 shots he faced for his fifth shutout of the season.

The Devils are hoping to generate more offense in Tuesday’s rematch.

“It’s an Ottawa team that really outplayed us,” the Devils top scorer, Taylor Hall, said to NorthJersey.com. “We played into their hands for most of the night the last game. (Tuesday) has to be a huge bounce-back game.”

Starting with that outing against Ottawa, the Devils have lost two of their last three. They rebounded to edge the New York Islanders, 3-2, on home ice Saturday before dropping a 6-4 decision to the Islanders the following night in Brooklyn in the back end of a weekend home-and-home set.

Hall had a goal and two assists Sunday, while Kyle Palmieri scored his team-high 16th goal and added a helper. Joseph Blandisi chipped in with his first goal of the season in the loss.

Cory Schneider is expected back in the net for New Jersey on Tuesday. He started a season-high eight games in a row, capped by an outstanding 40-save effort in Saturday’s victory, before watching backup Keith Kinkaid struggle in Sunday’s defeat.

“We gave up some Grade-A chances,” Hall said after the game. “We don’t blame our goalies at all around here. That’s one thing that has been consistent all year, our goaltending.”

With a day off on Monday, it is not clear whether veterans Michael Cammalleri and/or Kyle Quincey will return to the Devils’ lineup against the Senators.

Cammalleri, who has one goal in his last 33 games, was a healthy scratch in both games this past weekend, while Quincey missed the previous six contests with an upper-body injury.