Game 7 preview: New Jersey Devils @ Ottawa Senators

Harry How

A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils on 17 October 2013.

After a six game road trip to start the season, the Ottawa Senators will play their first game of the season at the house that Eugene Melnyk built bought at a severe discount. The Senators come into the game with a 2-2-2 record while their opponents, the New Jersey Devils, are still looking for their first win at 0-3-3.

The Devils will be without Ryane Clowe and he will be replaced by Mattias Tedenby. Here are the lineups for tonight:

Ottawa

MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Michalek - Spezza - Conacher
Greening - Smith - Neil
Kassian - Pageau - Condra

Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Wiercioch
Phillips - Gryba

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

New Jersey

Henrique - Elias - Jagr
Tedenby - Zajac - Ryder
Zubrus - Loktionov - Brunner
Carter - Gionta - Brunner

Zidlicky - Salvador
Larsson - Greene
Harrold - Volchenkov

Brodeur (starter)
Schneider

Some talking points for tonight:

  • The Senators were still in Phoenix as of yesterday afternoon. Will they have any problems adjusting to the time change after over a week in the pacific time zone? Hopefully the adrenaline from the home opener can carry them.
  • The two teams are complete opposite in the styles they play. The Senators are 8th in shots with 32.2 per game while the Devils are 30th with 24.8, meanwhile the Senators are 30th in shots allowed with 42.0 per game and the Devils are 8th with 28.3 per game. The Senators and their opponents have combined for 74.2 shots per game, which is 8.1 shots higher than anyone else in the league. The Devils and their opponents have combined for 53.1 shots per game, the second lowest in the league.
  • Jason Spezza by most accounts has not played very well but leads the team in goals and is tied for the lead in points and shots. Has the criticism of Spezza been unfair or has he been more fortunate than Kyle Turris? I am currently on the latter side. Kyle Turris is the best centre on this team right now.
  • Now that the Senators are at home, will Jared Cowen and Patrick Wiercioch perform better with Paul MacLean better able to control the match-ups. Can the club afford to shelter them? Something has to happen though, whether it be improvement or sheltering, because the two have been just horrible.
  • The MacArthur - Turris - Ryan has been outstanding in the last couple games that they have played. Will they score tonight? Will Bobby Ryan score his first non-California goal tonight? I am going to guess yes.
  • Craig Anderson has been good, if not outstanding this season. The club needs to play better so that they don't need the goaltender to be elite, because I don't think he is an elite goaltender. A couple of home games against New Jersey and Edmonton should hopefully help the team to get going.
  • The Devils are a real mess right now. They are not generating a lot of shots and not scoring a goals because of that. Defensively they are not allowing much but Martin Brodeur has an 87.8 save percentage. They really need to switch to Cory Schneider because he is clearly the better option.
  • Stephane Da Costa has been placed on waivers. After having apparently "taken" Mika Zibanejad's job, his reward was to be played on the bottom line and be moved in and out of the lineup for Matt Kassian. Best players play.
  • Will Eugene Melnyk show up and if so will he get booed? I certainly will boo him. On a related note, if you want to say hi to some Silver Seven people, we will be in section 323 rows J to M.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa New Jersey
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 4 Damien Brunner 3
Assists Kyle Turris 4 Marek Zidlicky 4
Points Bobby Ryan 5 Damien Brunner 5
Shots Bobby Ryan 20 Damien Brunner 20
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:23 Bryce Salvador 24:04

Category Ottawa New Jersey
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.50 16th 1.83 27th
Goals Against 3.00 21st 3.17 25th
Corsi Close % 50.9% 12th 50.8% 13th
Fenwick Close % 47.7% 19th 49.2% 16th
Shots For 32.2 8th 24.8 30th
Shots Against 42.0 30th 28.3 8th
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