New Jersey Devils vs. Ottawa Senators - 7:30 pm
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
TV: MSG+ Radio: WFAN 660-AM, 101.9-FM
In their first meeting of the season, the Ottawa Senators hung a five-spot on the New Jersey Devils up in Ottawa back in October. Their second matchup will be at The Rock this evening. The Sens come in having split their last six games while the Devils have lost five of their last seven.
Goaltender: Martin Brodeur
Some thoughts on tonight's game:
1. Different team, different result. Please don't take any stock into the last matchup between these two teams. If you remember, that was rock bottom for the Devils the first few weeks into the season. That was their seventh straight loss before they came home to beat the Rangers for their first triumph of the season. That loss came in a game where the Devils were still learning to play with each other. Now, does this mean an automatic win for the Devils? Of course not. However, it should be a much, much tighter contest.
2. Much like Tampa's D, Ottawa's is bad. We saw firsthand how bad Tampa's defense was this past weekend. This Ottawa D-corps is awful too. They allow the third-most shots in the league as well as allowing the fourth-most amount of goals. Their penalty kill is under 80 percent. Their goaltender tonight, Robin Lehner, has been pretty strong. He's stopped 93 percent of pucks shot his way this year. If the effort is there from the Devils, they should be able to slip a few by him.
3. Will secondary scoring continue? It has been an absolute delight to watch players like Dainius Zubrus, Michael Ryder and Damien Brunner play big roles in the scoring department of late. Without superstars, the Devils need to be able to get scoring from all parts. Now, is this streak sustainable? Probably not. But as long they don't go on big point droughts, that will go a long way in getting the Devils back to the postseason.
Prediction: Devils 3, Senators 2
I hope you all enjoyed that "kick back and relax" third period against Tampa on Saturday because I don't think we are going to see one of those again for a long while. We all know the Devils aren't really cut out for easy victories, so that's what it will be tonight; a grind. Also, bold prediction: Reid Boucher gets his first NHL goal tonight.
Enjoy the game, everyone.