Mark Stone staying positive despite slump

Senators forward Mark Stone says it's just a matter of time, as he's been getting good looks of late, which he feels will eventually starting going in.

OTTAWA — Mark Stone can’t help but shake his head these days.

The Ottawa Senators winger is mired in the longest pointless streak of his career and is at a loss to understand what’s going wrong. Stone has failed to get a point in his last seven games, and has just one goal and one assist in his last 13.

Senators coach Dave Cameron said the 23-year-old is creating chances and doing everything possible to score, but just can’t seem to catch a break.

“I thought the last two games he was as good a player as there was on the ice for either team,” Cameron said. “In this business we talk about resilience and balance and that there’s no guarantees.

``You can do everything right and not score whether it's a good goalie or a post or whatever so don't concentrate on the result, concentrate on the process and I've really liked his process the last two games.''

Stone feels he's playing well enough, but knows he's counted on to provide offence and can't help but feel some pressure. He understands players go through slumps, but living through one personally is frustrating.

``Everybody goes through stretches where you can't miss and then you go through stretches where you can't score,'' Stone said. ``Unfortunately right now is one of those times where I just can't get one in. It's frustrating when you're struggling, but you just have to work your way out of it.''

Not overly superstitious, Stone says he's not trying to do anything all that different other than using white tape on his stick these days. Stone broke two sticks in practice Monday and his hopeful the new ones might prove lucky.

While Stone's production seems low he's not that far off last year's numbers. After 47 games Stone has 11 goals and 33 points. Last year at the same time Stone had 12 goals and 28 points, but he excelled down the stretch scoring 14 goals and picking up 22 assists and was one of the Senators best players.

``I feel like I'm playing pretty well right now, last couple games especially, I thought I created some pretty good chances not only for myself, but for my teammates,'' Stone said. ``If the team can continue to play like we did last game the chances will continue to come.''

The Senators host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday in their last game before the all-star break, and will likely face former teammate Robin Lehner in goal.

Stone said it would feel pretty good to end his pointless streak with a goal against a good friend.

Coming off a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers Sunday afternoon in what can easily be described as the Senators most complete game of late, the team knows it would be ideal to head into the break riding back-to-back wins.

``(Sunday) we had no passengers, none, that's what I liked,'' Cameron said. ``The big difference, for me, was we were moving our feet which gives you energy, which makes it tough on the other team and that's a big difference for us between good and not so good.''

Craig Anderson will get the start for Ottawa, and says he would enjoy the opportunity to face Lehner.

This will be Lehner's first appearance at Canadian Tire Centre since being traded to the Sabres in June 2015.

NOTES: D Marc Methot was back on the ice for the first time in a week, but remains questionable for Tuesday's game against the Senators. A decision will be made following the morning skate. D Erik Karlsson was given a maintenance day, but will play Tuesday.