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Game 23 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ New Jersey Devils

The juggernaut heads to Jersey

NHL: DEC 04 Avalanche at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Considering how recently we profiled these two teams as draft lottery buddies, it doesn’t exactly bring me joy to see the Devils playing .500 hockey while the Senators just started digging up from the league basement over their last two games. Granted, one of these teams signed Dougie Hamilton over the summer and the other one suffered a massive COVID outbreak last month. I know which one of those realities I would personally prefer to live in. To focus on the positive though, Ottawa looked like a different team against Colorado, and New Jersey looks like a somewhat more manageable opponent than the ones the Sens faced in their last two contests against the Hurricanes and Avalanche.

In terms if overall volume, because Ottawa still ranks basically at the bottom of the league in categories like corsi and expected goals, the Devils have a natural advantage but nothing like Ottawa’s last two contests. If Ottawa has a chance on paper in this game then it comes from their suddenly (as of this season) competent powerplay and the fact that they get more powerplay opportunities on average than their opponent. Ottawa also has a bit more offensive touch at even strength than New Jersey but by a thin enough margin that they can’t bank on that alone.

At practice this morning, Ottawa’s lines looked like this:

While New Jersey could ice a lineup looking something like this:

Game Notes:

  • The Devils come into this match on a three-game game losing streak and arguably even colder then Ottawa who now have some momentum after a brutal November.
  • While I wouldn’t mind seeing a start from Filip Gustavsson (yes, Anton Forsberg won the last game but conceded five goals) I wouldn’t change much about the lineup as it stands.
  • I had absolutely no idea that Lindy Ruff currently coached the Devils. Just the most forgettable team out there.
  • We probably won’t get to see our old friend Christian Jaros in this game as the Devils seem to still have him listed on the injured reserve.
  • If you had no idea who the Devils’ leading scorer, Andres Johnsson, was then welcome to the club. Apparently he played for Toronto and once had a 20-goal campaign. Sounds miserable.

Where to watch: TSN5 RDS TSN1200 @7PMEST

Player Stats

Game 23 Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
Game 23 Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 10 Andreas Johnsson 9
Assists Drake Batherson 11 Jesper Bratt 13
Points Drake Batherson 18 Jesper Bratt 19
Shots Josh Norris 59 Dougie Hamilton 77
TOI Thomas Chabot 27:11 Dougie Hamilton 22:01

Team Stats

Game 23 Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
Game 23 Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
Category Rank # Rank #
Goals 26th 2.59 17th 2.86
Goals against 32nd 3.90 26th 3.26
Shots 26th 28.66 14th 31.81
Shots against 32nd 34.79 19th 31.45
Powerplay 21st 17.6% 31st 13.1%
Penalty Kill 28th 72.9% 22nd 80.3%
Corsi 31st 44.1% 18th 49.3%
xGoals 29th 45.3% 21st 48.7%