Posted March 20, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Recent struggles have hampered the Ottawa Senators' quest for their first Northeast Division title in six years.
A visit from the slumping New Jersey Devils may help them get back on the winning track.
The Senators try to beat the Devils at home for a fifth consecutive time Tuesday night.
Ottawa (37-26-10) is three points behind Boston for the Northeast lead with nine games remaining - one fewer than the Bruins.
The Senators haven't helped their cause while dropping five of eight (3-3-2) including Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to Toronto, a team all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
While winning a division title for the first time since 2005-06 could bring the second seed in the Eastern Conference, Ottawa is also trying to avoid entirely missing a second consecutive postseason.
The Senators are currently seventh in the East, three points behind sixth-place New Jersey (41-27-5) but also only six in front of Buffalo in ninth.
"Every game we play, we have a chance - if we win - to gain on somebody or put someone farther behind us, which is everyone's goal at this time of the year," coach Paul MacLean told the Senators' official website. "We want to play 82 games and then we'll see where we are. Every game is important because you have the chance to advance, or advance on somebody.
"They're all important for that (reason)."
Ottawa will now try to gain ground on New Jersey, which it will also visit April 7 in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Senators have outscored the Devils 12-5 while taking the last four meetings between the clubs in Ottawa. That includes a 3-2 overtime victory Jan. 2, when Ottawa erased a two-goal, third-period deficit before Daniel Alfredsson scored with 59.4 seconds left in the extra session.
Alfredsson is now looking to snap a season-high 10-game goal drought, during which he's managed three assists. He has two goals and one assist in two meetings with the Devils this season.
Defenseman Erik Karlsson has also played well against New Jersey, with seven points in his last six games versus the Devils including two assists Jan. 2.
Karlsson has 11 goals and 13 assists over his last 16 games, giving him 19 and 52, respectively, on the season to make him the favorite to become the first Senators player to win the Norris Trophy.
Colin Greening, meanwhile is giving Ottawa some surprising offensive punch with one goal in each of the last three games - the longest such streak in his two NHL seasons.
The Devils have dropped three of four including Monday's 4-2 defeat to the conference-leading New York Rangers, and now must beware Ottawa.
"There is no easy game for us," left wing Patrick Elias said. "They're right behind us and they're waiting for us. We've got to be ready."
Elias scored against the Rangers, one of his six tallies along with five assists in 11 games this month. The left wing has six goals and 12 assist in his last 15 meetings with the Senators overall, but only two goals and one assist in his last six visits to Ottawa.
Ilya Kovalchuk has 12 goals and eight assists in 17 career games at Scotiabank Place, but no goals and two assists in three games there since joining New Jersey.
Kovalchuk has no goals over his last four contests overall, and still needs one to match his 31 from 2010-11 - his first full season with the Devils.
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The Devils traded for Ilya Kovalchuk at the 2010 trade deadline, and after signing him to a 15 year, $100 million deal the following summer, committed to Kovalchuk as the future of the organization. To this point, Kovalchuk hasn't disappointed.
Kovalchuk put up 27 points in 27 games for the Devils after coming over from the Atlanta Thrashers before adding six points in five...
Hey there Devils Fans! Ive heard some of your requests and I'm answering! Welcome to our newest segment called, SpotLight. SpotLight will feature a paragraph regarding one player from the Devils each game and will be our "SpotLight Player of the Game". This player will be discussed in a paragraph or two in the conclusion of our game recaps, highlighting their stats...
New Jersey Devils superstar left wing Ilya Kovalchuk netted his 400th career NHL goal during Tuesday's game against the Ottawa Senators.
Kovalchuk opened the scoring with 2:40 remaining in the second period after blasting a one-timer off a pass from defenseman Marek Zidlicky.
The power-play goal was Kovalchuk's 31st tally of the campaign, matching last season's total...
After the puck dropped between the Rangers and Devils the other night, the gloves soon followed. Stu Bickel, Mike Rupp and Brandon Prust went toe-to-toe against Cam Janssen, Ryan Carter and Eric Boulton. Even more entertaining then the planned fights was the trash talking by both coaches that ensued after the game.
“I guess in John’s world you can come into our building and...
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After Saturday night's abortion of a hockey game, the Ottawa Senators were back on the ice in preparation for a daunting five-game stretch on Monday. Below, some quick news and notes after today's practice.
-- Ben Bishop is your starting goaltender against the New Jersey Devils in a big, big game. Not only is Ottawa...
Last night the New Jersey Devils got back in the win column with a shutout victory over the Ottawa Senators. Here are some notes on the game, and other Devils notes.
- First off, I'd like to congratulate Ilya Kovalchuk for scoring his 400th career goal last night. Not many players get even close to that number, especially by his age (28). It was obviously a big goal for him...
Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 400th NHL goal, and backup goalie Johan Hedberg made it stand up in the New Jersey Devils' 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
While working the point on the power play, Kovalchuk took a pass from defenseman Marek Zidlicky and fired a slap shot past goalie Ben Bishop with 2:40 left in the second period. The calm Kovalchuk kept his...
Not a secret – the Rangers & Devils hate each other. The coaches hate each other. The goons really hate each other. The Zamboni drivers hate each other. Etc. So it was no secret what would happen at the beginning of last night’s game. :03 into the showdown and six pugilists were dropping gloves and hammering each other. Yep, that’s a member of the ice team cleaning blood...
Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast.
The Rangers and Devils weren’t wasting any time tonight, dropping the gloves immediately after the puck dropped at Madison Square Gardens. All told the refs handed out 40-minutes in penalties to the seven combatants involved in the line brawl, all of whom received 5-minute fighting majors. The only exception...
What have we here? Two bitter rivals in close proximity? Check. Mutual hatred amongst fans? Check. Opposing players criticizing one another in the media? Check. And now, it seems, the head coaches aren't exactly the best of friends, either.
The Rangers and Devils played the last of three recently spirited matchups tonight to close out their season series, and started it off...
The New Jersey Devils fell to the New York Rangers by a score of 4-2 on Monday evening. The Devils' defense played atrocious hockey, and although Martin Brodeur was strong, his effort was not enough. The Atlantic Division rivals finished off their regular season series tonight--the Rangers and Devils both have three wins a side against each other.Tonight's game started off...
Hoping to rebound after a very disappointing showcasing of hockey in last nights defeat to the Hudson River rivals, New Jersey would conclude a back-to-back set of games with a visit to Canada's capital to play the Ottawa Senators. This game in my eyes, is even more of a crucial game than last night's. I believe last night was a statement game, just to put the Rangers and...
Three fights broke out simultaneously at the opening faceoff of tonight's game between the Rangers and Devils. Rangers forwards Mike Rupp, Stu Bickel and Brandon Prust dropped the gloves with fellow Devils forwards Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton and Ryan Carter, setting the tone for a crucial contest between two great rivals.
Match-up - Devils (41-26-5 - 87 points) @ Rangers (44-20-7 - 95 points)
Road/Home records - 21-13-2 -------------- 24-9-2
TV - NBCSN (HD), TSN 2 (HD)
Puck drop - 7:30 PM ET
Season series - Devils lead 3-2
Last 10: New Jersey 6-3-1 / New York (R) 4-5-1
Projected starting goalies - Martin Brodeur (NJ) vs. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)
Battle of the stats
Goals for/against per...