|OTT||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|NJD||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
To break his team out of its doldrums, Ottawa Senators coach Craig Hartsburg is slicing up the Pizza Line.
With Ottawa's three top scorers in a collective slump, Hartsburg is attempting an offensive shake-up for the Senators (11-13-5) ahead of Friday's game at New Jersey (17-9-3).
There hasn't been much scoring lately for Ottawa with four goals in the last four games, including a 4-1 loss Tuesday to Atlanta.
Heatley, the team leader with 14 goals and 28 points, and Spezza have not recorded a point in the last four games, and Alfredsson has one goal in that span.
The Senators also come into Friday's contest having gone 1-3-1 in their past five games.
"It's a situation where we're not working well together right now, and we're not scoring," Alfredsson said on the team's official Web site. "We should be able to make any line better, and it will be a good challenge for everybody."
After starting Martin Gerber in three of the last four games and in two straight contests, Ottawa is expected to put Alex Auld back in goal against the Devils.
Auld started 12 consecutive games until Dec. 10 at Chicago and had gone 3-1-3 in the previous seven games. Auld, who allowed a season-high five goals in a 5-1 loss at Washington last Friday, is 0-3-0 lifetime against New Jersey despite giving up two goals in each of those starts.
Since losing star goaltender Martin Brodeur to a torn bicep in early November, the Devils have searched for a suitable substitute, and they seem to have found the answer in Scott Clemmensen.
After initially leaning on veteran Kevin Weekes when Brodeur was lost for three to four months on Nov. 1, Clemmensen has since taken over the No. 1 spot by winning five of his last six starts and going 9-1-1 in his last 11.
"We're gaining confidence and learning a lot about each other," captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "We're proving to ourselves as well as the rest of the league that we have a good team, and not just Marty carrying us. I think it can be huge for us later on in the year."
Should Clemmensen get a third straight start, it will be his first against Ottawa. In his only appearance versus the Senators on Oct. 21, 2006, Clemmensen came in for Brodeur and surrendered two goals in 10 shots in 26 minutes of the Devils' 8-1 loss.
With help from their new No. 1 netminder, the Devils have won 10 of their last 13, including a 5-3 victory Wednesday at Buffalo.
While Clemmensen has been solid in net, New Jersey's offense also has been very good lately, scoring 21 times in the last five games.
With two assists Wednesday, Patrik Elias extended his point streak to eight, and he has nine goals and 23 points over the last 14 games. Zach Parise, who leads the Devils with 18 goals and 35 points, has scored a goal in two straight games and in five of the last seven contests.
The Devils have split the last four overall meetings with Ottawa but won five of the last seven at home.
|Apr 09 '09||NJD 3 at OTT 2 - SO||B. Shanahan|
|Jan 27 '09||NJD 4 at OTT 1||J. Langenbrunner|
|Jan 04 '09||OTT 3 at NJD 4 - OT||B. Rolston|
|Dec 19 '08||OTT 1 at NJD 5||J. Oduya|