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Sens aim for rebound against Devils

Wednesday, 02.13.2008 / 2:46 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Sens aim for rebound against Devils
On the bright side, the Ottawa Senators have never lost at the Prudential Center.

And the Senators are looking to ride that  positive wave as they head into the New Jersey Devils’ new arena in Newark on Wednesday night (7 p.m., no TV, Team 1200) for their second game in as many nights.

After an optional pre-game skate, head coach John Paddock made it clear that a repeat of the Senators’ performance in a 5-1 home-ice loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night won’t get it done against the disciplined Devils, who stand six points behind Ottawa in the Eastern Conference standings.

“There was not a preparation to play,” Paddock said in reference to the humbling loss to the Sabres, which marked the debut of forward Cory Stillman and defenceman Mike Commodore in the Senators lineup. “It’s easy to say we got outworked. But sometimes, we just worked blind because we were not in position or we’d have to hurry back to get to (the right) position.

“We were so totally unsharp… it was a totally mystifying game.”

Paddock said much of the solution to those woes lies in the neutral zone, an area the Sabres controlled on Tuesday night. It was a 180-degree turnaround from Saturday night’s impressive 6-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

“Montreal’s a great neutral-zone team and we had no problems (Saturday) night because we were back, we were in position, we moved the puck and we went through,” he said. “It’s just a matter of playing the game right.”

Keeping with his current “win-and-you-stay in” rotation for his goaltenders, Paddock named Martin Gerber (23-10-2) the starter for tonight’s game. Back on Oct. 27, Gerber turned aside 31 shots as the Senators recorded a 4-1 victory on opening night at the Prudential Center. He is 3-0-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average in his last four games against the Devils.

But Paddock credited Ray Emery with a solid performance on Tuesday night, calling him “our best player” in that game.

Tonight’s game is the first of a back-to-back mini-series between the teams. They play again Saturday at Scotiabank Place, the first of three straight at home for the Senators.
Fewer than 50 tickets remain for the game.

Around the boards

Forward Cody Bass remains sidelined with what is being called “skate bite,” in which the laces cut into the skin on a player’s foot. “You would think that today, with the technology we have, that it would never happen, but it's because of the skate he used at one time," said Paddock. "This didn't just happen (in the NHL) or anything. This has been for quite awhile, maybe even (since playing) junior hockey. It didn't heal right. He fights through it for six or eight months and it becomes worse and worse.” … Chris Neil recorded the first goal in Prudential Center history, 5:01 into the opening period of the Senators’ win on Oct. 27. Andrej Meszaros and Jason Spezza drew the assists … About 1,000 tickets remain for the Philadelphia Flyers’ visit to Scotiabank Place on Feb. 19. Around 1,500 are left for the Feb. 21 home matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets. 




1 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
2 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
3 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
4 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
5 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
6 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
7 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
8 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47


E. Karlsson 54 11 48 9 59
B. Ryan 53 19 26 -2 45
M. Hoffman 50 23 18 5 41
M. Stone 52 16 25 -10 41
M. Zibanejad 53 11 22 -1 33
K. Turris 48 13 17 -11 30
J. Pageau 54 13 10 6 23
Z. Smith 53 11 5 7 16
C. Ceci 47 5 11 -1 16
C. Lazar 49 5 9 0 14
C. Anderson 22 17 4 .914 2.86
A. Hammond 3 5 2 .900 3.10