Saturday April 7th, 2012
CBC, Team 1200
7th East (41-30-10) VS 6th East (47-28-6)
The Ottawa Senators fly to New Jersey to take on the Devils in their final game of the regular season. This is the fourth meeting between these teams, Ottawa going 1-1-1 against them so far. The most recent was a 1-0 shutout victory for the Devils just over two weeks ago. It won’t help that the Sens scoring troubles have returned since then as they have just two goals in their past two games. They could only manage one against Khudobin and the Bruins on Thursday despite firing 45 shots on net, a game they ended up losing 3-1. It was the Sens second straight loss as they fell 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes just two days earlier.
While Ottawa has been struggling offensively, New Jersey has been surging. They have 18 goals during their current 5 game win streak and haven’t scored less than two goals since there game versus the Senators.
Today will be the Sens last chance to regroup and get into form before playoffs. This game could also have an effect on who they take on in round one. They can clinch 7th place with a win today, however if they lose, they will have to wait to see the results of Washington and Florida to see where they finish. Senators can still finish either 7th or 8th.
Sens will making a few changes to today’s lineup. Kaspars Daugavins will come in for Chris Neil who was injured during practice. MacLean said Neil should be ready for the start of playoffs. Matt Gilroy will also make his way back in, meaning Matt Carkner will come out. Craig Anderson will get the start in goal with Ben Bishop backing up.
Players To Watch
Ottawa: Jason Spezza - Spezza was the only Senator able to score Thursday, and the only one able to score Tuesday as well. He extended his point streak to 6 games and has 9 points in that span. He had a goal and an assist his last game against New Jersey and has 26 points in 26 career games versus the Devils.
** Erik Karlsson is also one to keep an eye on. Karlsson sits at 78 points, just two shy of 80, which would be an incredible milestone to reach.
New Jersey: Patrik Elias - He has a streak of his own but it is slightly shorter than Spezza’s at 4 games. He has 7 points in that span, 6 of them assists. He is first on the team in assists and second in points only to Ilya Kovalchuk.