NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 1st (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (17-25-8) at New Jersey Devils (16-30-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils built some momentum prior to the All- Star break and they hope there is still some leftover when they host the lowly Ottawa Senators in a battle between last-place teams at Prudential Center.
The Devils are last in the Atlantic Division and the NHL with 35 points but they won six of their last eight games (6-1-1) before the league broke for All-Star weekend. As a result, New Jersey has moved within two points of the New York Islanders in both the division and league standings. Ottawa, meanwhile, had just one win in 13 games (1-8-4) prior to the break and hopes to break a six-game slide tonight.
The Senators are currently last in the Northeast Division and are just seven points ahead of New Jersey in the Eastern Conference. New Jersey was dealt a loss in its last game before the hiatus, dropping a 3-1 decision last Wednesday in Detroit. The setback halted the Devils' longest winning streak of the season at four games.
Brian Rolston scored the lone goal for the Devils and is riding a five-game point streak into tonight's game. Martin Brodeur stopped 26 shots in the loss -- his first since Jan. 15.
"I think at the end of the day we had a chance to win," said Brodeur. "We played hard, it just didn't turn out the way we wanted it."
Devils defenseman Colin White has sat out New Jersey's last two games with a lower-body injury and is expected to miss this evening's tilt as well.
Ottawa lost an overtime decision in its last game, suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of visiting Buffalo last Tuesday. Shaone Morrisonn scored his first goal of the season 1:59 into OT to lift the Sabres and drop the Sens to 0-4-2 in their last six contests.
Nick Foligno and Sergei Gonchar posted goals in the loss and Brian Elliott stopped 23 shots for the Sens.
Ottawa forward Jason Spezza is close to returning from a right shoulder injury that has caused him to miss the last 13 games, but he is expected to sit out tonight's tilt. Spezza suffered the injury on Dec. 26 against Pittsburgh.
The Senators posted a 3-2 regulation win when they hosted the Devils on Dec. 10, giving Ottawa two straight wins over New Jersey after losing the previous nine meetings in the series. However, Ottawa has still lost five straight and seven of its last eight in the Garden State.
Ottawa has lost five of its last six road games and is just 8-11-4 as the guest this season. The Devils have won three in a row on home ice to improve to 9-13-2 at the Rock.
02/01 10:45:56 ET