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Game Preview – Game 38: Your New Jersey Devils @ Ottawa Senators

New Jersey Devils vs Ottawa Senators

New Jersey Devils (21-15-1, 43 points) vs Ottawa Senators (19-5-5, 43 points)
7:30 PM EST
Radio: WFAN 660 AM


Tonight, the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators will meet for the second time this season. They last met on December 8 at Prudential Center which saw Adam Henrique give the Devils the edge in a shootout, 5-4.

Devils Only Fourth in the Atlantic Division?:

Am I reading the standings right? The Devils find the Islanders as the only team under them with an 11 point difference.

The Devils have gone 7-3-0 in their last ten, and are playing some of their best hockey this season. Going into tonight’s matchup, the Devils find themselves tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference Standings  with their opponents for the night, the Ottawa Senators, and the newly re-formed Winnipeg Jets. Tonight’s game between the Devils and Senators is an important one as even though they are tied for sixth in the East, they’re only one point ahead of the ninth place Washington Capitals.

After their win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the Devils find themselves three points behind the flight-less bird for third in the division, and fifth in the Conference.

The only problem with the Devils so far this season, when it comes to the standings at least, is they’re heavily relying on the shootout. The first tiebreaker for this season, is regulation+overtime wins. Shootout wins will not count. So far this season, the Devils have eight of their 21 wins in a shootout, giving them 13 regulation+overtime wins. Most of the others in the conference have around 18, 19 wins. The Devils need to learn to hold onto a lead and get wins in regulation or, if they must, the sudden death overtime.

Henrique named Rookie of the Month:

For the last month of 2011, Adam Henrique was named the rookie of the month.  Henrique  had 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) and posted a +9 rating in 14 games in the month. Henrique was a key part to the Devils winning 10 of 14 games and propelling the Devils into sixth in the Eastern Conference.

This is the first month that Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has not won the award, showing that Adam Henrique is indeed a threat for Rookie of the Year at season’s end.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Tedenby – Zajac – Clarkson
Boulton – Carter – Janssen

Salvador – Larsson
Taormina – Foster
Tallinder – Fayne


The Latest on the Ottawa Senators:

The Senators are dominating the All-Star balloting, which is no surprise due to the game being played at Scotiabank Place.

The Sens find themselves tied for sixth with the Devils and Jets in the Eastern Conference standings, and are second in the Northeast Division. The Senators won five of their last seven games which has them within six points of the Bruins for the division lead; however, the Bruins have four games in hand on the Senators, which might be the Division title out of reach for the Senators with the way the defending Stanley Cup Champions have been playing.

A player to watch on the Senators tonight is Daniel Alfredsson. The Sens Captain has five points in his last five games.

Projected Senators Lineup:

Greening – Spezza – Michalek
Condra – Turris – Alfredsson
Foligno – Smith – Butler
Daugavins – Konopka – Neil

Kuba – Karlsson
Cowen – Gonchar
Phillips – Lee/Carkner


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