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New Jersey Devils at Ottawa Senators, 7:30pm

Canadian Tire Centre, Kanata, Ontario

TV: MSG+2    Radio: WFAN 101.9 fm, 660 am

With a few days off to practice and refocus after their stint out west, the Devils take on the Ottawa Senators in the last game of their five game road trip. The Senators come in to their home opening tonight after a long road trip to start their season.


Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique - Jaromir Jagr
Mattias Tedenby - Travis Zajac - Michael Ryder
Dainius Zubrus - Andrei Loktionov - Damien Brunner
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Bryce Salvador - Adam Larsson
Andy Greene - Marek Zidlicky
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold
Goaltender: Martin Brodeur
Here are some thoughts on tonight's game: 
1. What will the time off do for this team? The Devils have had three days off following Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. They're back in the right time zone, but there is still one more huge chance for New Jersey to get a win on their road trip.  The players have had a chance to rest and the coaching staff has had ample time to evaluate the team's play. Will the time off result in a focused, fresh group tonight? Considering the sense of urgency that surrounds the team, as they are currently the only team in the NHL without a win. The rest, both physical and mental, is important coming into tonight's pivotal contest.

2. What can Mattias Tedenby bring to the lineup?  We've seen this for years now. Mattias Tedenby finally gets his chance to play after sitting.  Tedenby will be on a line with Travis Zajac and Michael Ryder, which should give him ample minutes to make an impact. Tedenby certainly brings speed, but he'll need to create some offense in the next few games or he could certainly be sent down once Ryane Clowe returns.  Perhaps a bigger point of contention with the young Swedish forward is his ability to play in all three zones. He'll need to show the ability to backcheck if he hopes to stay in the lineup.

3. Protecting a lead is key. The Devils have blown second and third period leads multiple times in 2013 and that needs to change. Should the Devils get out to a lead, they need to do a better job of not only playing well defensively and limiting quality chances, but also the offense needs to continue to produce. The Devils had a great chance to blow the game open in Calgary, but failed to score. They had a 1-0 game with the Jets and couldn't pot one either. The offense needs to play a part in keeping any lead that they may have tonight as well.

4. Limiting odd-man rushes is key. Time and time again, this team has been burned at neutral ice to allow odd-man rushes for the opposition. The Devils need to begin to limit these chances. If an opposing team is going to score a goal, they have to work for it. Giving up transitional goals is a killer.

5. Can Martin Brodeur step it up? Brodeur has yet to turn in a dominant performance so far this season and the Devils need one in the worst way. Cory Schneider was very good against Winnipeg, but the offense couldn't score. Does Brodeur have it in him to be good enough to get this team a win with the offense struggling? The Devils have given up no fewer than three goals this season. Sure, the two against Winnipeg were an empty-netter and a garbage time goal, but the number is still alarming. This team needs the goaltending to be better if they expect to win.

 Prediction: Senators 3, Devils 1 

This seems like a bad spot tonight for the Devils. The Senators are playing their first home game of the season after a long road trip. The Senators are a much more dangerous offensive team than they were last year, with a healthy Jason Spezza, an improved Cory Conacher and the addition of Bobby Ryan. What hasn't changed is good goaltending and team defense from Ottawa. Put that all together and this is very good team. The Devils will need to play a great game if they expect to come out with a win. This team has yet to play a complete 60-minute game this season. Is tonight the night?

 We'll have our Instant Insight article up after the conclusion of tonight's game. 
Tags: Pregame Thoughts, Analysis, Notes
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