After getting the million pound gorilla off their back in Philadelphia, the game in New Jersey is even more important given the fact that everyone else kept pace last night.
TV: Rogers Sportsnet; RADIO: TEAM1200
HEAD TO HEAD
This is the final meeting between the teams. Ottawa has taken both games so far, and will be looking for the season sweep. Both games came down to a shootout, 2-1 in New Jersey and 3-2 back in Ottawa, so expect a very close game again. Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad had the shootout winners in their respective games.
Ottawa snapped a 5 game losing skid with a much needed 3-1 win over the Flyers on Thursday night. Colin Greening and Zack Smith had the goals for the Senators with Daniel Alfredsson capping it with the empty netter as they remained in the 6th seed. New Jersey lost their 8th straight game, falling behind 4-0 to the Bruins before eventually losing 5-4.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Craig Anderson, OTT – Anderson will get his third start since returning from his ankle injury. He has lost both of his previous starts, with a sub-.900 save percentage in each game. The offensively challenged Senators need Anderson to keep the Devils below 2 goals to increase their chances of winning.
Martin Brodeur, OTT – Perhaps fittingly, the Devils goaltender has been stuck on 666 wins for almost 3 weeks. He has faced the Senators 66 times in his career, with a 36-22-3 record.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Desperation: The Devils sit 4 points back of 8th place New York Rangers, so a loss in this one would pretty much end their playoff hopes. They will be just as desperate as Ottawa to stay in the playoff race.
2. Back To Back: This is the 7th time the Senators will have played on consecutive nights this season, The Senators are 3-2-1 in the second half of back to back games this season.
3. Pageau Power: Jean-Gabriel Pageau played very well in his debut in Philly, picking up an assist in his NHL debut. Can he become the 7th Ottawa Senator to score his first career goal this season?
The win was a big sigh of relief, but due to wins by the Islanders, Jets and Capitals, their situation really hasn’t changed much at all. They still need a big win in the only Eastern Conference game Friday to put some space between themselves and the teams in 8th and 9th, and damaging the Devils’ chances of re-joining the playoff race at the same time.