Senators aim to cool off red-hot Devils
SENATORS (22-34-9) at DEVILS (30-31-4)
TV -- SNET-E (HD), MSG (HD)
Last 10 --
Ottawa 5-4-1; New Jersey 9-1-0
Season series --
This is the third of four meetings between the teams this season. In their most recent game, at Prudential Center on Feb. 1, Dainius Zubrus broke a 1-1 tie with 5:43 remaining in the third period to give the Devils the 2-1 victory. The Senators won 3-2 in Ottawa on Dec. 10 as Milan Michalek
and Jarkko Ruutu scored 2:16 apart midway through the second period and Erik Karlsson
had a goal and an assist.
Big story --
Incredibly, the Devils now are within one game of .500 for the first time since they started 1-2-1 after putting together a 20-2-2 stretch that includes 12 wins in their last 13 games. They are eight points behind eighth-place Buffalo in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Leading the charge of late has been goalie Martin Brodeur, who has stopped 85-of-90 shots in his four games since returning from a knee injury.
Ottawa begins a four-game road trip in Newark following a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Friday. The game against the Rangers was goalie Craig Anderson
's seventh straight start. He has gone 4-3-0 since the Senators acquired him in a Feb. 18 swap of goalies that sent Brian Elliott to Colorado.
Sens Blog Central
"I think there's still some guys' names I'm not too sure of," said Anderson. "Sometimes I call the wrong name out on the ice, but I think they get the general idea when they hear a screaming voice back there that they're about to get hit."
Brian Rolston and Ilya Kovalchuk each had a goal in regulation and added shootout goals, with Rolston netting the winner in the sixth round, in the Devils' 3-2 victory against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday. Kovalchuk, who also had an assist in the win, has at least one point in 15 of the last 16 games. He has 16 goals and 30 points in the last 30 games and leads the team with 24 goals and 48 points.
Who's hot --
Senators centre Jason Spezza
, who has been playing between rookies Colin Greening
and Bobby Butler
, has two goals and seven points in his last six games. Ottawa has gone 3-3-0 over that stretch. Spezza ranks second on the team with 33 points … Rolston has two goals, three points and five hits in his last four games.
Injury report --
Ottawa defenceman Matt Carkner
is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, while forwards Daniel Alfredsson
(back), Peter Regin
(shoulder) and Milan Michalek
(foot) are out. Regin is finished for the season and faces 4-6 months of rehab, while Michalek will miss at least four weeks and Carkner 2-4 weeks … New Jersey could get forward Zach Parise back later this month. Parise has been out of the lineup since early November after undergoing knee surgery.
Stat pack --
Devils centre David Steckel is 16-of-31 (52 per cent) on faceoffs in three games since coming over in a trade with Washington on Feb. 28. He continues to lead the League with a 63.2 per cent faceoff efficiency.
Puck drop --
The Devils are 8-4 in games decided in extra time, including 3-1 in shootouts. Their four extra-time losses are tied for the fewest in the league.