The New Jersey Devils (9-3-3) will look to get back on track today, as they host the Ottawa Senators (7-6-2) in a President’s Day matinee. The Devils haven’t played well in the last three games, going 1-2, and will look to get their momentum going back in a positive way, playing Ottawa for the first time this season. Today’s game is set for 1 p.m. at Prudential Center. Here are the game notes and the preview:
Battle for First: Because of the Devils recent slide, the Pittsburgh Penguins have taken over first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with their win over the Buffalo Sabres yesterday. It will probably be a back-and-forth game between the Devils and Penguins — currently the top two teams, point-wise, in the conference — for the rest of the season, but New Jersey will look to jump Pittsburgh back with a win today.
Josefson Down, Loktionov Back Up: The Devils gave forward Andrei Loktionov another chance on Sunday, when they demoted center Jacob Josefson and recalled Loktionov. Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said that Josefson’s “just not playing the way he was playing,” and will have an opportunity to fine-tune his game in Albany. For Loktionov, he will get his chance to show what kind of forward, specifically a center, he can be.
Butler Against Former Team: Devils’ forward Bobby Butler will be facing off against the Senators, the team he played with last year. Butler has been stepping up on New Jersey’s fourth line and getting good looks on the power play, and he should be excited to face off against them in a different uniform today, along with playing a part in helping New Jersey get a win.
Good Start is Key: During the last three games, New Jersey hasn’t bolted out of the gate with a good start, and it will try to do that today. After a miserable start against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday, the Devils rebounded to win, but a mediocre start held them back in a loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday.