We all know that it has been a rough going for the New Jersey Devils lately. Losers of eight straight games, they have played themselves out of a playoff position and almost out of the race altogether. They need to get two points when they face-off against the Ottawa Senators tonight at 7:00 at the Prudential Center.
OTT: 20-14-6 (46 points; 16 ROW); Away (7-11-3); Last Ten (4-6-0)
NJD: 15-15-10 (40 points; 13 ROW); Home (10-8-2); Last Ten (2-4-4)
2/18 @ NJD; OTT 2 NJD 1 (SO)
3/25 @OTT; OTT 3 NJD 2 (SO)
OTT: 6th in the Eastern Conference with 46 points and 4th in the Northeast Division; The Senators are two points ahead of the ninth place Winnipeg Jets, but also have a game at hand on the Jets. Tonight’s game is a big one for the Senators.
NJD: 10th in the Eastern Conference with 40 points and 4th in the Atlantic Division: The Devils are now four points out of a playoff spot behind the eighth place New York Rangers. Due to their tough schedule down the stretch, their play on the road this season, and the fact that the Senators are a team they are chasing, this is a must win game for the Devils. You might want to hang up your jersey for the summer and break out your golf clubs if the Senators win tonight, especially if it is in regulation.
OTT: Kyle Turris (8 goals, 16 assists, 24 points); Sergei Gonchar (2 goals, 20 assists, 22 points); Daniel Alfredsson (10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points)
NJD: Patrik Elias (11 goals, 21 assists, 31 points); Ilya Kovalchuk (10 goals, 17 assists, 27 points); David Clarkson (13 goals, 8 assists, 21 points)
OTT: Ottawa’s injuries appear to be catching up to them. Before defeating the Boston Bruins last night, they had lost their previous five games. Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson are still on injured reserve. The Sens also traded goaltender Ben Bishop at the deadline to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Cory Conacher.
NJD: The Devils will be short on defense tonight. Anton Volchenkov has been suspended four games for elbowing Brad Marchand on Wednesday. Bryce Salvador will most likely miss tonight’s game as well due to a wrist injury suffered from being hit by a Zdeno Chara shot. Adam Larsson and Peter Harrold are expected to round out the Devils’ defensive unit tonight. Ilya Kovalchuk is closer to a return, but remains on injured reserve and will not play tonight for the Devils.
Game time is scheduled for 7:00 PM at the Rock, and game action in the New Jersey area can be found on the MSG Networks and on 970 AM. Be sure to tune in!
For more information on the Ottawa Senators, check out our colleagues over at SenShot, one of the best blogs around, by clicking here. You can also check out their preview of tonight’s game by clicking here.