The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (23-8-1) vs. the Ottawa Senators (17-12-4). This is the third meeting between the two teams this season and the Devils are 2-0 against the Senators so far.
The Last Devils Game: Flat, dull and lifeless are words I would use to describe the effort put forth in the game against the Canadiens the other night. Somehow, the Devils walked away with a win, and did so in regulation.
The Last Senators Game: The Senators knocked off and shutout the Buffalo Sabres 2-0. Brian Elliot did a nice job in net for the Sens stopping all 22 shots he faced.
The Last Devils / Senators Game: The Devils were going through a losing streak and had come home to face the red hot Ottawa Senators. Elias scored his first goal of the season with just under a minute and half left in the second and would prove to be the game winner, which happened to be his 68th GWG of his career. Langenbrunner added and empty net goal to give the Devils a 3-1 win.
Tonight's Matchup: Let me start off by asking a question. Other than the Sabres game this month, have the Devils actually played a game where they made an effort the entire 60 minutes? My answer is no. They've started games well but then fizzle somewhere in the 2nd or the 3rd period. They lost to a Florida team that had been playing awful and then beat a Canadiens team that played worse than the Devils. It's time to stop playing this way. Ottawa won't be as bad as Montreal the other night and won't go away as easily.
The power play is another issue for the Devils. Wednesday night the power play was utterly useless getting 3 shots on net in 5 chances. Not only that, they coughed up the puck at the point and watched the Canadiens march down the ice and score a shorthanded goal. The power play is supposed to cash in on chances every once in a while, not put the team in a hole.
Zach Parise has been snake bitten recently and just can't seem to put the puck in the net. All players go through this but it can get frustrating for players and fans when they do. It seems like Lemaire is going to shake up the lines a bit tonight to see if he can break Parise out of this funk that he's been in.
On paper the Senators look a little beaten with injury after injury but that might be what the Sabres thought the other night and they watched the Sens shut them out. If NJ comes out with another performance like Wednesday night, look for the Senators to walk away with the win...easily!!