Gameday Journal presented by Monarch Homes: Game 36 — Devils vs. Senators
4:45 PM: Today's Gameday Goodie is with Jean-Gabriel Pageau who scored his first ever NHL goal in New Jersey this past April.
Take a look...
4:30 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Sens and Devils...
MacArthur - Spezza - Michalek
Zibanejad - Turris - Ryan
Greening - Smith - Neil
Conacher - Pageau - Condra
Cowen - Karlsson
Phillips - Ceci
Corvo - Wiercioch
New Jersey Devils
Zubrus - Zajac - Jagr
Henrique - Elias - Brunner
Boucher - Loktionov - Ryder
Bernier - Gionta - Janssen
Greene - Fayne
Gelinas - Zidlicky
Volchenkov - Merrill
2:45 PM: Jason Spezza spoke ahead of tonight's game with the Devils. Here's what he had to say...
2:30 PM: Erik Karlsson offered his thoughts on his game and the team this morning. Here's what he had to say...
On if he is hitting another gear:
Maybe, I mean, we've had a rough patch and last game everybody played really well. It makes it a lot easier to play as well and I think overall it was — the way the team played — helped me get going.
On seeing Ceci's success:
I'm obviously happy for him and that's what we need. We need the young guys to make a push and so far he has been playing pretty solid for us. We've just got to try and help him as much as we can. He's definitely a player that has the talent and skillset to play in this league, we've just got to hope he keeps improving, which I'm pretty sure he will. He has been helping our team ever since he got up.
On trying to start a streak:
We've got four games in I don't know how many nights before Christmas and we've got to try and take it game by game. Today is a new game and we can't feel too good about ourselves with what we've done in the past and same thing when we lose, we don't really focus on that. We just try to get better and we've got to play better today than we did against St. Louis and if we do that we're going to have a chance to win.
2:00 PM: Here's what Paul MacLean had to say after today's morning skate...
On tonight's lineup:
We're going to stick with the lineup we had against St. Louis and we're going to go with the same group tonight.
On if it's an easy choice:
I think it is, if it ain't broke don't fix it. I think the group that played played very well against St. Louis. The competition level we showed was very good and we want to give them a chance to come back here tonight and do it again. Depth is a big part of every team, we have depth on defence and we have to evaluate who gives us the best opportunity to win.
On dictating games:
We'd like to start being more dictators than reactors. I thought against St. Louis we came out and were dictating. We were able to establish a forecheck, we won some faceoffs, we were dictating the way the game was played a lot of the time. It makes us a quicker team and a harder team to play against if you're actively trying to dictate how the game is going. On the other hand, the other team is trying to do that too and they don't always behave the way you want them to. I thought the other night we got off to a good start.
On New Jersey:
The Devils always play with great structure, great work ethic, they play a very good team game and if you're going to beat them you have to be patient and execute at the right times.
I was noticing we weren't turning the puck over quite as much as we did earlier but then I looked at it the other night and we did it 18 times. Again, that's something we're concentrating on and actively talking about is taking care of the puck and putting the puck in the right spots but it's still a work in progress.
On third periods:
The game is there to be won. At home, if you're down by a goal going into the third period you should be in a good spot, you should feel good about your chances about winning the game. The other way on the road you may want to have the one goal lead going into the third. Tonight is a bit of a test for us that way, but we feel that our team in the last 10 or 12 games has gained some traction, we've gained points in most of our games. The LA game was the only one we hadn't gained points in in the last six, if not seven, and we want to continue to do that. We have to find a way to get some traction and continue to work at our game and get better. We haven't found our best game or our best team yet and we have to continue to work at that.
On any surprises with Bobby Ryan:
For us his play without the puck has been very encouraging and also his competitive spirit where he comes and gets dinged up or knicked up and he comes right back and plays. His passion to play has been very noticeable…The other night he got hit into the boards and he's not leaving the game. He's coming right back out and he's playing. Part of that competitive spirit is something we like.
10:00 AM: It's gameday for the Sens in New Jersey as they get set for a date with the Devils.
The Sens are coming off of a big 3-2 overtime win, which saw Cody Ceci clinch the victory with his first career NHL goal. Bobby Ryan and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also added goals for the Sens who have points in five of their last six games and could move within a point of a playoff spot tonight with a win. Robin Lehner made 30 stops to earn a victory and the start tonight.
The Devils have had struggles of their own this season with a record of 13-15-6 through 34 games. Home has been better to them than the road has as they have put together a 6-5-3 record in the friendly confines of the Prudential Center.
The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate and I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players' thoughts on tonight's game, Sens TV updates, Instagram goodness and more.
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