NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, January 27th
(All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (29-15-3) at Ottawa Senators (16-21-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will shoot for a sixth consecutive
victory when they visit the Ottawa Senators tonight in the first game for both
clubs following the All-Star break.
The Devils, who beat visiting Montreal, 5-2, in their last outing, entered the
break with five straight wins and will try to set their season-best winning
streak with another victory tonight. New Jersey last won six in a row during a
nine-game stretch from November 17-December 7 of last season.
New Jersey was expected to struggle to even make the playoffs when it was
revealed in early November that franchise goaltender Martin Brodeur would miss
close to four months after undergoing elbow surgery.
However, the Devils have done more than survive without Brodeur as they are
currently first in the competitive Atlantic Division with 61 points on the
year. The New York Rangers are in second place with 60 points and Philadelphia
is third with 59.
Scott Clemmensen has been the savior in goal for the Devils, posting a 19-9-1
record with a 2.29 goals against average and .922 save percentage in 30 games.
New Jersey's leading offensive weapon has been Zach Parise and the young
winger was the Devils lone representative at this past weekend's All-Star
Game. Parise leads the Devils with 28 goals and 55 points at the break and had
a goal in the Eastern Conference's 12-11 win over the West on Sunday.
The Devils, who are 15-7-2 as the visiting club this year, will play their
first two games following the break on the road, as they will also make a stop
in Boston this Thursday.
Ottawa, meanwhile, comes out of the break with just 39 points on the year and
is currently last in the Northeast Division. The Senators, who have made 11
straight playoff appearances, are also 12 points out of the eighth and final
postseason berth in the East.
The Sens did show signs of life in the final week before the All-Star break,
winning three of their last four games, including a 3-2 decision over visiting
Washington their last time out. However, that stretch came on the heels of a
Ottawa was represented at the All-Star Game by Dany Heatley, who led his club
in goals (21) and points (43) at the break. Heatley had a goal to help the
Eastern Conference win the mid-season contest.
Tonight, the Sens are finally wrapping a three-game homestand that was broken
up by the break. Ottawa is just 11-7-4 as the host this year.
The Devils are 2-0 against the Senators this season, having earned a pair of
victories on their home ice. Ottawa did earn a point its last time out against
Jersey, as it dropped a 4-3 overtime decision on January 4.
New Jersey has taken four straight and seven of nine against the Senators. The
Devils have also been victorious in two of three and three of their last five
stops in Canada's capital city.
01/27 10:45:03 ET