Devils vs. Senators, March 25, 2013: Preview

The New Jersey Devils will face-off against the Ottawa Senators on Monday evening at Scotiabank Place. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM. The Devils (15-11-6) are hoping to jump ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the east; a Jersey win and Toronto regulation loss would make that possible. The Senators (17-9-6) sit at fifth in the east and will remain there regardless of tonight's outcome.

The Devils are coming off their second straight victory, a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. Unfortunately, Jersey's Team lost its best player to injury during that win. Ilya Kovalchuk has been sidelined for a couple of weeks after crashing hard into the boards in the third period on Saturday. Kovy suffered a shoulder injury, which will not require surgery, and left the game without returning. Harri Pesonen has been recalled from the Albany Devils to fill Kovalchuk's roster spot.

The Senators are riding the momentum from an impressive win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Ottawa opened up a four-goal lead before the first twenty minutes expired and did not look back. Tampa forward Tyler Johnson led the comeback in the third period, tallying two goals, but the Sens held on for the win.

Photo by William Perlman/The Star-Ledger.

Over their last ten games, the Devils are 5-4-1. The Senators are 5-2-3.

The last meeting between these two teams came on February 18. Stephen Gionta put the Devils ahead early in the first period, but Ottawa tied the game in the third and later won in a shootout.

Both teams are looking to improve upon their record and create separation between themselves and lower-seeded teams heading into the home stretch. With only sixteen games remaining for both clubs, each point is big. Expect a hard-fought, physical battle between the Sens and Devils tonight.

The Devils and Senators are both battling some tough injuries. Jersey will be without Alexei Ponikarovsky tonight after he was placed on the injured-reserve list, retroactive to March 19. Ottawa will be without Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson Craig Anderson, and Milan Michalek (who was also placed on IR).

My projected outcome has the Devils winning this one, 3-1. Martin Brodeur will have another superb night; Henrique, Clarkson, and D'Agostini will chip in with goals.

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Go Devils!