Senators’ Mark Stone: ‘It looks like we’re playing shinny’

Aaron Dell made 25 saves for the shutout and the San Jose Sharks took a bite out of the Ottawa Senators.

The Ottawa Senators are in a tailspin.

Last year’s Eastern Conference finalists have lost 11 of their past 12 games, and Saturday’s ugly loss at San Jose has left the team seven points back of the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division.

The Senators have scored more than three goals just once in their recent slide, which coincides with their only victory.

“The last month has not been what we wanted,” Stone told the Ottawa Citizen after Saturday’s 5-0 defeat. “We might have to make a few changes to get ourselves back on track.”

Stone leads Ottawa in goals (14), points (25), and – as is tradition – takeaways (29). The Senators’ struggles can at least be partially tied to the lack of production from Erik Karlsson (one assist during the team’s current slump) and Bobby Ryan, who has found the back of the net just once this season in 20 games – though he did come incredibly close to scoring against the Sharks.

Prized trade acquisition Matt Duchene has just four points in 14 games since coming over from Colorado.

But whether the team’s issues stem from its underperforming stars, a lack of depth up front and on the blue line, or head coach Guy Boucher – who led Tampa Bay to a conference final before missing the playoffs and then getting fired in the next two seasons – something has got to change in the nation’s capital.

Ottawa is in Buffalo on Tuesday to close out what has been a brutal seven-game road trip before kicking off a three-game homestand on Wednesday against the Rangers.

“The changes have to come with the guys in the locker room,” said Stone. “We have to change with the way we’re preparing or change the way we’re playing and commit to a strategy.

“Right now, it looks like we’re playing shinny.”

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