The Ottawa Senators travel to New Jersey trying to do something they have not done in over a month…win back to back games.
TV: TSN; RADIO: TSN1200
This is the second of 3 meetings this season between the teams. Two months ago Ottawa downed New Jersey on the strength of 4 goals on 22 shots against Martin Brodeur. Craig Anderson stopped 40 of 42 shots in one of his best performances of the season.
Ottawa defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-2 in overtime on Monday night, one of the biggest wins of the season for the Senators. New Jersey has been off since Saturday’s 3-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Patrick Wiercioch, OTT – The pressure will be on Wiercioch to perform or else he could be watching from the press box. Cody Ceci has stepped in and filled the role that was expected of Wiercioch, and when Marc Methot returns from his “flu”, Wiercioch had better have performed well enough to warrant Ceci being sent down.
Jaromir Jagr, NJ – Age still hasn’t caught up to the veteran and future Hall-of-Famer. He leads the Devils in goals (11), assists (17) and obviously points (28). He is also second among Devils’ forwards in time on ice, just under 20 minutes per game. He has 36 goals and 77 points in 63 career games against the Senators.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Back To Back – The Senators haven’t won back to back games since Nov 7th & 9th. This is the first half of very winnable back to back games, with the Panthers coming to Ottawa on Thursday.
2. Marty – Brodeur has been streaky this season, but has still played more games and has a better record than Cory Schneider despite the younger goalie’s far superior statistics.
3. Playoff Drive – Both the Devils and the Senators are in the chase group that is tracking down the final wild card spot, but the Devils have the other carrot of being withing striking distance of the third spot in their division.
While the Maple Leafs and Red Wings continue to help out the chase pack by losing on a nightly basis, the Senators cannot hope that trend continues. They have an opportunity to close the gap and they need to win games like this against like competition to make a serious bid.