The Ottawa Senators are running out of healthy forwards, but they don't seem to be running low on effort.
The Senators have earned at least a point in four straight games for the first time this season, and they'll try to keep that streak alive when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday afternoon.
Ottawa is coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, ending a two-game winning streak, but the point provided a lift for a struggling franchise.
"I think you can see that everyone is stepping up for each other," Ottawa forward Tim Stutzle said. "We're working really hard. Everyone is hitting really hard and playing good defensively, and I think that helps a lot."
Josh Norris is the latest forward to get banged up for the Senators. He left the game against Carolina with an upper-body injury.
Ottawa already was without forwards Colin White (shoulder), Shane Pinto (upper body), Connor Brown (broken jaw), Drake Batherson (ankle) and Dylan Gambrell (upper body).
"We literally have all our top centers out right now, but I mean, everyone is stepping up," Stutzle said.
The loss of Batherson, the team's leading scorer, has been especially noticeable.
Batherson collided with Buffalo Sabres goalie Aaron Dell during a 5-0 win on Tuesday night, slid into the boards and sustained a high ankle sprain that's expected to keep him out a minimum of two months.
Dell was suspended three games for the play.
"He's an All-Star for a reason," teammate Brady Tkachuk said of Batherson. "That's what sucks for the group the most is that he's been playing so well, not only for our team but for himself."
The Ducks went through their own stretch with a ramshackle lineup earlier this month, but they're getting back to full strength.
Adam Henrique (lower body) and Josh Manson (COVID-19 protocol) returned on Thursday and took part in a 5-4 win at the Montreal Canadiens. Henrique missed 20 games and Manson the previous four.
The Ducks lost captain Ryan Getzlaf after he was struck in the face with a high stick against the Canadiens, however. Anaheim scored two goals during the ensuing power play, but Getzlaf did not return.
The game also featured another highlight-reel goal from rookie Trevor Zegras, who scored a lacrosse-style goal to give the Ducks a 4-1 lead.
Ducks coach Dallas Eakins is not with the team during its three-game swing through Canada because he tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but assistant coach Mike Stothers said while Zegras' flashy goal was entertaining, it also provided a learning moment after the Ducks nearly blew the sizable lead.
"If you're a fan and you're sitting from afar, you're probably thinking, 'Oh, this is the greatest thing,'" Stothers said. "And as you probably saw the reaction from our team, and on the bench when he scored that goal, the lacrosse goal, it was one of shock, amazement, and then there were some, like myself, that showed no expression whatsoever because you know what? There's a game to be played and we need to continue to play it the right way."
--Field Level Media