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Sens

Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

There's going to be a multitude of reactions to tonight's loss. Many will cite "puck luck" or the lack thereof. Others will claim a screwjob from the refs in the third period. Some will say Pete DeBoer isn't doing his job and needs to go, if only to shake up the team. I'll give you the first one. I may even listen to you on the second one, too. But this loss, like most of the last nine have not been the fault of one, Pete DeBoer. This loss, like this skid, is a combination of factors, but the blame resides largely on the ice. Some thoughts...

Car, meet wall: We talked about it in our pregame thread, the idea of a team struggling to score running into a very good goalie in Craig Anderson. We were concerned that if Anderson was on his game, it might not matter what the Devils did -- and after 60 minutes it was pretty clear that Anderson was going to win tonight no matter what the Devils did. Although he got a little help from the iron maidens, he did plenty of work on his own. At times, Anderson used excellent positioning to give the Devils almost nowhere to shoot. The rest of the time he flung his legs or his glove or his blocker (or the butt end of his stick) into the Devils' way (and faces). Flat out -- Anderson was a damn beast tonight. He might have missed too much time with a sprained ankle to still be considered for the Vezina, but he put on the type of late-season performance tonight that usually rockets a goalie's name to the top of the list. You know what tonight was? It was the Coyote vs. the Roadrunner. The Coyote painted the train tunnel on the rock, thinking it would fool the Roadrunner, who of course (through the miracle of dated animation) ran right through that tunnel. When the Coyote tried to follow, he either found himself flattened by a train or up against the rock. Craig Anderson was both the train and the rock tonight, sitting back and attacking and basically steamrolling a Devils team that basically gave everything it had and came up with nothing.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Adam Larsson, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, Ilya Kovalchuk, Lou Lamoriello, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Senators, Sens, TRAVIS ZAJAC
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The Devils have a real chance to gain ground against another playoff contender tonight.

Who: Ottawa Senators at New Jersey Devils

When: 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 6:30 p.m. ET

Tags: Devils, Devs, Gameday, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Sens
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(Editor's note: Buffalo and Philly are only pictured because they haven't been mathematically eliminated -- yet. We'll see ya in October, fellas.)

The Devils were in rough shape entering play Thursday night. Then the Senators, Islanders and Jets won in regulation, making the six and seven seeds basically unreachable and adding yet another ROW to Winnipeg's already impossible number. Those wins, combined with New Jersey's regulation loss Wednesday, put the Devils hoping for a Jets collapse and a sweep of the two-game mini-series against the Rangers in the final week of the season. That of course assumes the Devils keep pace with the Rangers until that point, which brings me to my next point.

Tags: Blueshirts, Broadway Blueshirts, Islanders, Isles, Jets, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Rangers, Scoreboard Watching, Senators, Sens, Winnipeg Jets
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Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

There's two different ways you could look at tonight's game: Disappointing or gutsy. During their first contest without Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils fought through in-game injuries to two game players and an awful to start to eek out a consolation point. They also played some good hockey in the second and third periods, although there were mistakes and they were clearly tired in overtime. Some thoughts...

One and one: One game without Kovalchuk, one point for the Devils. This is how it will have to be. Yes, they would've liked to have picked up the extra point and surely played like it in the third period, but any points are important given the state they're in right now. If you'd like to be concerned, the Devils' record in overtimes and shootouts is reason for worry. New Jersey has left a lot of points on the ice this season after excelling in extra hockey last season. Will it be the difference between eighth and ninth? Too early to tell, but for now the Devils simply have to do everything they can to stay stagnant (at worst) in the standings while Kovy is out. Tonight, the Devils managed to overcome a dreadful start and seemingly woke up after being undressed by Pete DeBoer during a first-period timeout. The gears didn't really begin to turn until the second when Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique had some impressive shifts as DeBoer mixed and matched forwards given his limited bench. Over the final two periods, the Devils looked like a good hockey team that couldn't finish -- which is what they've looked like for stretches this season. Except there's no Kovy coming in to seal the deal with a rocket from the point or a perfect pass across the ice. Make no mistake, this is what the Devils will look like for the next two weeks. They could play very inspired hockey game in and game out and it will still be a challenge to score goals.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Andrei Loktionov, BRYCE SALVADOR, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Notes, Ottawa Senators, PATRIK ELIAS, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Ryan Carter, Senators, Sens, Stephen Gionta, Steve Bernier, TRAVIS ZAJAC
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Adam Henrique and the Devils face the Senators in their first game without Ilya Kovalchuk.

Who: New Jersey Devils at Ottawa Senators

When: 7:30 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 7:00 p.m. ET

Tags: Devils, Devs, Gameday, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Senators, Sens
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According to his bio, Ottawa Senators goalie Ben Bishop stands 6-7.

Yet on Monday, Bishop stood so much taller than that for the reeling Sens.

Ben Bishop stops Patrik Elias during the Ottawa Senators win over New Jersey Monday afternoon.

Tags: Devils, Devs, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Senators, Sens
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