NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 20th
(All times Eastern)
New Jersey Devils (41-27-5) at Ottawa Senators (37-26-10), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A key battle for playoff positioning in the Eastern
Conference is on tap tonight in Ottawa, as the Senators host the New Jersey
Devils at Scotiabank Place.
The Devils are currently sitting sixth in the East and are just three points
ahead of seventh-seeded Ottawa. The Senators and Devils have split a pair of
games this season, with each team winning at home, and both contests went past
Ottawa has taken three of four and five of the last seven overall meetings
against the Devils and Jersey has dropped four in a row in Canada's capital
However, the Senators lost for the third time in four outings after a home
setback to Toronto on Saturday and it was Ottawa's first regulation setback
since March 4 in Florida. Despite going 1-1-2 in its last four contests, the
Sens enter tonight trailing idle Boston by just three points for the Northeast
Ottawa entered Saturday leading the Bruins by one point for the division lead,
but Boston regained the lead by beating Philadelphia in the afternoon before
the Sens lost to the visiting Maple Leafs later that evening. Boston then
extended its lead with an 8-0 rout of Toronto on Monday.
Before getting pulled in the first period of last night's blowout loss to the
Bruins, Toronto goaltender James Reimer turned in a strong performance against
Ottawa on Saturday. Reimer made 29 saves and came just 69 seconds away from
shutting out the Senators, who scored their only goal in the 3-1 loss when
Colin Greening beat the Leafs netminder at 18:51 of the third period.
Ben Bishop stopped just 15-of-18 shots for Ottawa in the loss. With No. 1
goaltender Craig Anderson still out with a lacerated finger, Bishop is
expected to make his seventh straight start tonight.
Bishop was acquired from St. Louis in a trade last month and is 3-1-2 with a
2.10 goals-against average in six games with the Sens. Anderson, who last
played on Feb. 22, has been practicing, but it's still uncertain when he can
return to game action.
Ottawa is closing a three-game homestand tonight and is 19-14-4 as the host
The Devils, meanwhile, lost their second straight contest on Monday night,
dropping a 4-2 road decision to the rival New York Rangers, Brandon Dubinsky
and Derek Stepan posted a goal and an assist apiece to lead the Rangers to the
win at Madison Square Garden.
Petr Sykora and Patrik Elias each posted a goal for the Devils, who have lost
three of their last four. Martin Brodeur gave up all four goals on 27 shots in
"It's always tough playing here, especially with both teams needing a win,"
said New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer. "We worked pretty hard there and were
in it, but just couldn't get that bounce that you need sometimes."
The Devils have lost their last two road games in regulation, but the club is
still boasting a solid 21-14-2 record as the guest this season. After
tonight's tilt, Jersey will play three of its next four games on home ice.
03/20 10:58:31 ET