Your Ottawa Senators begin their four-game road trip tonight with a trip to New Jersey to take on the red-hot Devils. Having lost their last game 4-1 to the Rangers, Ottawa will have a tough task tonight to get the ‘W’. After Jersey’s horrible start to the year and a coaching change, they have gone 20-2-2 in the last two months. Playing structured and determined hockey, the Devils have been the best team in the league for the last two months and have an outside shot at making the playoffs.
Ottawa will again look to their rookies tonight to have a solid effort and play a full 60 minutes. There will be no line-up changes from the Rangers game and Craig Anderson will get his eighth consecutive start in a Sens jersey. Also note that Anderson will finally debut his new Ottawa Senators mask tonight. We’ll see if it gives him any luck.
Currently being eight points out of a playoff spot, the Devils have four teams to jump over if they want to make it into the playoffs. Tonight is a must-win for them as Toronto and Buffalo play tonight too.
Players to Watch
Ottawa – Derek Smith has played well in the three games since his call-up. With one assist in those three games, Smith will look to continue to impress Sens’ brass and let them know that he should not be overlooked in the organization.
New Jersey – Ilya Kovalchuk has turned it on as of late. In his first 34 games of the season, he had a grand total of 18 points. In his last 30 games, he has played at a point per game pace with 30 points in that stretch.
Keys To a Ottawa Victory
Shut Down Ilya- with 30 points in his last 30 games, the number one job for Chris Phillips and Brian Lee tonight will be to limit Kovalchuk’s time and space.
Get on the Board Early – the “Trap is Back” in New Jersey and is proving to be successful for them. If Ottawa can’t score early in the game, prepare for a snooze fest.
Don’t get Frustrated - with Jersey’s annoying style of play, Ottawa cannot get frustrated. They will have to wait for their chances and capitalize on them when they come.
Check back here for a game recap after the game. Enjoy the game and GO SENS GO!!!_______________________________________________________________________________
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