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Mark Stone takes ‘major’ step in recovery, could return sooner than expected

Ottawa Senators v New York Islanders

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Mark Stone #61 of the Ottawa Senators point at Zack Smith #15 of the Ottawa Senators following Smith’s first period goal against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on December 18, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Ottawa Senators have been without Mark Stone, one of their top forwards, for nearly two weeks now due to a lower body injury that was supposed to keep him out on a “week-to-week basis.”

Good news for the Senators, though, is that Stone could be getting closer to returning to the lineup, and perhaps sooner than originally expected.

Coach Guy Boucher said on Tuesday before the Senators’ huge game against the Boston Bruins that Stone is back on the ice skating and that represents a “major” step forward for him in his return to the lineup. When asked if Stone’s status should still be considered week-to-week, Boucher said “maybe we can shorten that now. We’ll see. We’ll see how today goes and how tomorrow goes.”

Stone has been one of the Senators’ most productive forwards for the past three seasons now and has developed into a consistent scorer that you can pencil in for close to 25 goals and 60 points every year. He already has 22 goals and 28 assists in 63 games this season for the Senators.

The Senators have lost four games in a row and will be looking to break that losing streak on Tuesday night when they visit the Bruins. They enter the game four points ahead of the Bruins for the second spot in the Atlantic Division and four points back of Montreal for the top spot.