Senators vs. Devils Look A-Head

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It is a new night, a new game night for the Devils. Although they won their last game against the struggling Canadiens, they struggled through-out that game themselves. New Jersey went 0-5 on the power play on that night, as well as giving up a shorty while on one of those power plays. We escaped that game on the play of our goalie (he tends to do that for us occasionally) but tonight I would like to see them have a little more conviction on offense from the drop of the puck. I don’t want them to “work up to it” like they sometimes do. Ottawa may be hurting a bit with Jason Spezza out 6-8 weeks; however, they are still a capable squad that will give Jersey fits if we don’t put it to ‘em right away.

Let’s go over a little bit of what tonight’s opponent has done in their last couple of games. They last played on Wednesday night, hosting fellow Northeast divisional opponent Buffalo. The Sens shut out the Sabres 2-0 getting 28 shots in on Ryan Miller and Senators goalie Brian Elliot faced 22, stopping all of them. Prior to the contest against Buffalo, they went 2-2 in their last four. They lost at Toronto 3-2 and lost 4-1 to Montreal at home. Their two victories came at home against the ‘Canes by a score of 4-2 and in Philly on another shutout from Brian Elliot.

Ottawa is number 14 in the NHL in goals scored with 2.79 a game (NJ is 2.75 ranked 17). They are also in the middle of the league in goals given up with 2.82 (NJ is second in the league with only 2.13 given up a game). Ottawa is below average on their power play, however, with a meager 17.8 % (despite their porous effort on Wednesday night the Devils are 8th in the league on the PP at 21.1%). The Senators PK % is 10th in the league at 82.7% (NJ’s 15th in the league at 81.1%).

But enough about numbers, what happens when these two meet? Well, like the Devils last opponent, the Devils have owned the last ten meetings between the two. Going 8-2 in that span, New Jersey eight in a row against the Sens, but five of those games were one goal victories, so it isn’t like these games are blow outs. Ottawa always has something to bring against us, but in recent memory it seems as though we have been able to pull the games out, because we have had the better teams. Their last meeting took place at The Rock also and New Jersey was victorious by a score of 3-1.

Tonight’s meeting should be a good one for the Devils. They are coming off a sloppy performance Wednesday night and have had a day off to think about it. Now, they have somewhat of a rival coming into town before hitting a brutal stretch in their schedule, so they should be nothing but focused on W. Ottawa doesn’t have any big time game changer, but they still have their captain Daniel Alfredsson (who leads them in points with 30) and he is always a threat for that big goal in a tight game. Mike Fiser is having himself a solid season with 15 goals thus far and Alexei Kovalev is coming off a three goal night last week against the Carolina Hurricanes in which his scored historic goal number 400. With their goalie playing well lately, this team can be a dangerous one if we don’t have 100%. However, I don’t think that will be the case, not tonight. Jacques expressed concern with the power play after the last game and the team usually responds quite well to those kinds of things.

The biggest thing Jersey needs to do tonight is play their game. If they get power play chances, that’s great. But if they don’t capitalize, fine, move on and get goals at even strength. Regardless they have to play sound hockey with no mistakes, none of that sloppy play with turnovers we saw the other night. I feel like tonight will be a good night though. Big game from Mr. Parise!

SMART CHART
OTTTEAMNJ
2.85GOALS2.91
2.91GA2.16
17.80PP%21.14
82.73PK%81.05
29.82SHOTS OFF29.72
28.06SHOTS DEF26.78
-0.06GOAL DIFF0.75

INJURIES
OTTAWA
PLAYERPOSDESCRIPTION
Shean DonovanFOut Indefinitely (knee injury)
Nick FolignoFOut Indefinitely (lower-body injury)
Pascal LeclaireGOut Indefinitely (facial injuries)
Chris NeilFOut Indefinitely (knee injury)
Jason SpezzaFOut Indefinitely (knee injury)
NEW JERSEY
PLAYERPOSDESCRIPTION
David ClarksonFOut Indefinitely (leg injury)
Paul MartinDOut Indefinitely (arm injury)
Dainius ZubrusFOut Indefinitely (knee injury)
HEAD TO HEAD SUMMARY
TEAMSUOUGOALSSHOTSPP GOALSPP%PK%
Ottawa2-5-0-33-72.227.1515.676.7
New Jersey8-2-0-03-73.128.71023.384.4
HEAD TO HEAD DETAIL
DATEDAYAWAYGOALSHOMEGOALSHOMELINEOUOTT
SOG
NJ
SOG
11/25/2009WedOTT1NJ3-145U2521
11/07/2009SatNJ3OTT2-135U2125
04/09/2009ThuNJ3OTT2-110U3032
01/27/2009TueNJ4OTT1115U2227
01/04/2009SunOTT3NJ4-245O2035
12/19/2008FriOTT1NJ5-165O2526
02/16/2008SatNJ3OTT2-195U3929
02/13/2008WedOTT2NJ3-125U2531
10/27/2007SatOTT4NJ1130U2732
10/08/2007MonNJ2OTT4-170O3729