Posted April 06, 2012 on
AP on Fox
New Jersey is locked into the sixth spot for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, awaiting the winner of the Southeast Division.
The Ottawa Senators can finish seventh or eighth depending on their result Saturday against the Devils and may be content with the latter given how they match up with the other division champions.
The Senators (41-30-10) squandered an opportunity to secure seventh in the East with Thursday's 3-1 loss to Boston, their division rival and potential first-round playoff opponent if they get at least one point from this game.
Ottawa dropped five of six to the Northeast champions this season, though captain Daniel Alfredsson chalked up the most recent defeat more to the letdown following a late push that clinched a postseason spot for the Senators than anything a Bruins team did despite playing without regulars Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron.
"We really tried to stay upbeat and keep our game going after the four wins and clinching the playoff spot, but just emotionally it's been tough to regroup and get the game to where we want," Alfredsson said after the team's second straight defeat.
"(Thursday) it was the same thing. Both teams played pretty good, but it's not close to being a playoff-type game or the intensity that we're going to see next week. It's more mental than anything."
Ottawa would slip to eighth with a loss to New Jersey (47-28-6), Florida getting at least one point against Carolina and Washington defeating the New York Rangers since the Panthers would clinch the Southeast and the Capitals would have more regulation victories than the Senators.
Coach Paul MacLean's team, though, won both its games at Madison Square Garden over top-seeded and Atlantic Division champion New York and three of four overall between the teams. MacLean, however, didn't express a preference to face either the Bruins or the Rangers.
"It's between two teams, I think we'll be fine," he said. "We know we're on the road and we wanted to play 82 games and see where we ended up and see what it was. We have one game to play and see where we end up after that. But we know one thing for sure - we're in the playoffs."
New Jersey will start its postseason at either Florida or Washington and has the chance to close the season with six straight victories. The Devils hit 100 points with their 2-1 win at Detroit on Thursday night, as Martin Brodeur secured his 14th 30-win season and Petr Sykora had his 11th 20-goal campaign.
"A good place to get it (his 30th win)," said Brodeur, the NHL's all-time leader with 655 victories. "Just before the playoffs, I wanted to get a feel for the road. ... It's a good team. I just wanted to test myself in this type of game."
Brodeur has gone 0-0-1 in two starts against the Senators this season and was pulled following the first period of New Jersey's 5-4 shootout win Dec. 8.
Senators center Jason Spezza, who scored Thursday to extend his goal and point streaks to three and six games, respectively, has three consecutive multipoint games against New Jersey.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Newark mayor was looking for tickets to a concert at the Prudential Center, but his request was denied.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice, Stephen Gionta broke a third-period tie with his first NHL goal and the New Jersey Devils beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Saturday to close the regular season with a six-game winning streak.
Petr Sykora also scored, and Martin Brodeur made 31 saves for the Devils, who will be the No. 6 seed in Eastern Conference for the postseason. They will face Florida...
The New Jersey Devils' top executive took issue Friday with Newark Mayor Cory Booker's recent harsh criticism of him, particularly accusations that the National Hockey League team reneged on a promise to construct a community center as part of its deal to build the Prudential Center arena five years ago.
Booker ripped chairman and managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek on Wednesday...
from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet, Let me preface this blog entry by saying I really don’t want Daniel Alfredsson to retire. He’s an absolute pleasure to deal with on a daily basis and after watching him score 27 goals this season, it’s clear that he can still play this game at a high level.
But we need to acknowledge that Thursday night could mark Daniel Alfredsson’s final regular...
Petr Sykora's goal with 8:40 left in the third period lifted the Devils to a 2-1 win over the Red Wings, giving New Jersey its first win in Detroit in 15 years.
Sykora gathered a feed from linemate Patrik Elias while all alone in front of the Detroit goal and fired a shot that eluded Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard for his 20th goal of the season. It's the 10th time Sykora...
Make sure to follow Travis on Twitter!
For the past month, the Ottawa Senators fan base seemed resigned to a near-mathematical certainty. The defending Stanley Cup champions would be their first-round draw in the 2011-2012 post-season.
After a whirlwind of turning points, starting with Ottawa's regulation loss in New Jersey, and ending with Florida's win over Carolina...
Strange isn’t it? It feels like yesterday remembering that 2011-12 season opener against Philadelphia at The Rock (I was in attendance myself). I thought to myself “Oh no... this is gonna be one long season”. Surprisingly, it wasn’t and I’m surprised the regular season ended today with all 30 teams in action. We know that the Devils are already in the playoffs but we wanted...
Oh Ottawa, how's our ass taste? That's what you say to someone who is in second place right? You ask them to eat a piece of your ass and then ask how it tasted? I don't remember what we did with Montreal last year, but I'm sure it involved a buffalo, live or stuff preferably stuffed for safety's sake, and a pitching wedge. Either way the Bruins are once against...
It's safe to assume Erik Karlsson is going to post more points than any other defenseman this season. In fact, he's a remarkable 25 points up on current runner-ups Dustin Byfuglien and Brian Campbell. The question now: where will he finish among all skaters?With 78 points on the year, Karlsson is just two shy of the all-time mark for a Swedish blueliner, set by Nicklas Lidstrom...
Make sure to follow Travis on Twitter!
Below, some quick Ottawa Senators thoughts heading into the weekend.
-- Game eighty-two will be played Saturday afternoon v. the New Jersey Devils, and believe it or not, there's plenty on the line. With a point, Ottawa wraps up the seventh-overall seed, clinching a first-round draw with the Boston Bruins.
If Ottawa loses in...
Match-up - Senators (41-30-10 - 92 points) @ Devils (47-28-6 - 100 points)
Road/Home records - 21-13-6 -------------- 23-13-4
TV - MSG Plus (HD), CBC (HD)
Puck drop - 3:00 PM ET
Season series - Devils lead 2-1
Last 10: Senators 5-5-0 / Devils 6-3-1
Projected starting goalies - Craig Anderson (OTT) vs. Martin Brodeur (NJ)
Battle of the stats
Goals for/against per game...
Last night the New Jersey Devils did something they have not been able to do in a very, very long time: beat the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit. Here are some notes on last night's game.
- First off, congratulations to Pete DeBoer on coaching a team in New Jersey that not only reached the playoffs in his first year behind the bench, but hit the 100-point plateau. It's very...
Brendan Shanahan explains the head-butting suspension.
The Rangers have truly surprised everyone this season with their performance. They currently find themselves in a battle for the President's trophy and not much else..and win it comes to first round opponents they find themselves rooting hard for the Ottawa Senators this weekend against the NJ Devils.
Possible First Round Opponent