The New Jersey Devils have lost a top defenseman in the playoffs, so they understand why the Ottawa Senators are concerned about Wade Redden.
Redden, who gets more ice time than any Ottawa defender, didn’t skate on Wednesday after hurting his left knee late in Game 2 in a collision with Devil forward Turner Stevenson.
Redden’s status for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals at East Rutherford, N.J., tonight is uncertain.
“Obviously, he’s our best defenseman,” Senator captain Daniel Alfredsson said. “It’ll be tough to lose him. I don’t know his status yet, but I don’t think it’s too bad. We’re going to have to step it up, everybody.”
The injury hits home for the Devils, who tied the best-of-seven series 1-1 with a 4-1 win on Tuesday night.
New Jersey has a 9-3 record in the playoffs, but two of the losses were in games where the Devils lost one of their top two defensemen.
Scott Stevens missed most of Game 3 in the second-round series with Tampa Bay after being hit in the ear by a shot. The Devils fell behind 3-0 and lost 4-3.
Scott Niedermayer was also hit in the head by a shot in the opening game of this series in overtime. That forced New Jersey to juggle its defensive pairings, and the Senators won on an odd-man break.
Redden does everything for Ottawa. He averages more than 25 minutes, plays on the power play and penalty kill and adds a toughness that will be hard to replace. He leads Senator defensemen in scoring with a goal and seven assists.
“He’s our quarterback,” goaltender Patrick Lalime said. “He’s been very solid throughout the playoffs. It would be a big loss. But we don’t know yet for sure. And if it happens, there’s nothing we can do. There’s guys ready to step in that were a great help for us all year.”
Shane Hnidy, who hasn’t played in the last 12 games, would replace Redden.
The hit on Redden annoyed some of the Senators because they felt Stevenson extended his leg to make contact.
Stevenson denied he was trying to hurt Redden, who also didn’t feel the hit was intentional.
The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed center Tim Taylor to a multiyear contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Taylor, 34, had four goals and eight assists during the regular season and appeared in all 11 playoff games.