While Senators center Matt Duchene had a strong showing in his first game back in Colorado following his trade last season, things didn’t go as well for the rest of the team. On top of losing the game, center Zack Smith sustained a broken bone in his face after being hit by a skate, notes Postmedia’s Ken Warren (Twitter link). There’s no timetable for how long he’ll miss but he has been sent home by the team for treatment, suggesting he’ll miss at least the next two games with the team on the road out West. Head coach Guy Boucher classified the injury as “serious”.
Smith, who cleared waivers at the end of the preseason, has gotten off to a solid start this season. Through nine games, he has two goals and three assists while leading all forwards in hits with 21. He also sits second to Duchene in faceoffs won and taken. That’s more of the output the team was expecting when they inked him to a four-year, $13MM extension back in January of 2017; that contract played a big role in him making it through waivers unclaimed.
It has been a rough season already for Ottawa when it comes to injuries. Center Jean-Gabriel Pageau tore his Achilles’ tendon back before training camp while veteran winger Marian Gaborik is dealing with a lingering back issue. Meanwhile, winger Brady Tkachuk, who had six points in his first four NHL games, is also on the shelf due to a torn ligament in his leg.
The Senators were only carrying the minimum 12 forwards on their active roster so there’s a very good chance they will be bringing someone else up before they take on Vegas on Sunday.