The Devils head to Ottawa looking for their 3rd consecutive win after starting the season 0-3-1. They seem to be heading in the right direction having picked up 5 of a possible 6 points in the last three games. Ottawa has a high-powered offense that’s averaging 3.16 goals per game through their first 6 contests. The Devils will have to find a way to shut down Ottawa’s offense if they want to come out victorious tonight. Andrew Hammond will be making his first start of the season for Ottawa. It will be important for New Jersey to get shots on net and test him early on.
The Senators are loaded with young talent across the board. Up front, it begins with their 1st line of Mike Hoffman, Kyle Turris, and Mark Stone. The trio has combined for 23 points over Ottawa’s first 6 games of the season while boasting a 54.2% possession line. They’re also starting over 39% of their shifts in the offensive zone. It’s safe to say that this is Ottawa’s biggest threat up front. The Devils don’t have the firepower to let Turris and company run wild, so shutting them down will be key if the Devils are to defeat the Senators tonight. New Jersey will also have to watch out for Mika Zibanejad and Bobby Ryan. If Ottawa gets their top 6 going, it could be a long night for New Jersey.
Ottawa has a young group of defenseman that is led by Erik Karlsson. Not only is he Ottawa’s best defenseman, but he’s also a dynamic threat on offense. Karlsson is tied with Kyle Turris and Mark Stone for the team lead points in points (8). Karlsson is by far the biggest threat to score from Ottawa’s defensemen. Other defensemen of note on Ottawa includes Patrick Wiercioch, Cody Ceci, and Mark Borowiecki, none of which have the scoring prowess that Karlsson possesses, but are more than capable defensemen.
Andrew Hammond will get his 1st start of the season against New Jersey tonight. He was recovering from a groin injury he sustained in warmups before a preseason game against the Canadiens on October 1st. He went 20-1-2 with a .947 save percentage in 24 games in 2014-15, which led Ottawa to the playoffs after a huge late season surge.
Skaters to Watch
Travis Zajac…He’s coming off his best game of the young season, where he scored a beautiful, short-handed goal and added 2 assists. As seen against Arizona Tuesday night, the Devils offense is much better when Zajac is playing to his abilities. The Devils are not going to score a lot of goals this season, so whatever they can get from Zajac will benefit the team greatly going forward.
Bobby Ryan…Ryan is off to a bit of a slow start, scoring just 1 goal in Ottawa’s first 6 games. In his time in Ottawa, he has failed to score 30 goals in a season, with his highest total being just 23 in 2013-14. For most players, a 23-goal season would be a great accomplishment, but for someone who scored 30+ goals in Anaheim for four consecutive seasons, he can produce at a higher rate than he is producing now.
Matchup to Watch
Hoffman/Turris/Stone vs. Greene/Larsson…Although Ottawa has last change being that they’re the home team, John Hynes will attempt to get his top defensive unit of Greene/Larsson out against Turris’ line as much as he possibly can. The Devils will have to shut down Ottawa’s top line and prevent them from having a huge game in order to win tonight’s matchup.
New Jersey Devils Lineup
When to Watch
7:30 PM EST
Where to Watch