Game 41 Preview + Open Thread: New Jersey Devils @ Ottawa Senators

They’re set to begin a tough stretch of 42 games in 81 days.

Is it tough waiting six days for another Ottawa Senators game? Under normal circumstances, absolutely. After going through 1 game in 25 days earlier in the season, however, it’s barely a wait in comparison, especially with All-Star and Olympic content to keep us busy.

Following the All-Star break, every team in the league has had a chance to regroup, which means tonight’s opponents, the New Jersey Devils, shouldn’t be taken lightly despite having lost six games in a row.

The Senators have wisely chosen to be patient with former first-round picks Jacob Bernard-Docker and Lassi Thomson by re-assigning them to Belleville, but will the team’s play be hindered as a result? Both right-handed defencemen have certainly contributed to Ottawa’s 10-7-3 stretch over the last several weeks, but while veterans Nikita Zaitsev and Josh Brown’s numbers have been awful this season as a whole, both have improved in the team’s last 20 games, and haven’t been dragging the team down as they were in previous games. Both are expected to play tonight, as well as Dylan Gambrell (upper-body) and Connor Brown (jaw).

Based on yesterday’s practice, here’s how the Senators are expected to line up:

Tkachuk - Stützle - Gaudette
Formenton - Paul - C.Brown
Tierney - Kastelic - Ennis
Sanford - Gambrell - Watson
Chabot - Zaitsev
Holden - Zub
Brännström - J.Brown

Murray (Starter)

Game Notes:

  • It seems like the Devils are in a perpetual state of underperforming with each passing year. They saw some significant development last season from a number of their prospects, managed to snag the best free agent on the market in Dougie Hamilton, and Jesper Bratt has emerged as their best player with 41 points in 42 games. However, goaltending has made it all for naught. The fact that Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier have a combined record of 13-13-4, with a combined save percentage of .896 is proof of just how much they’ve held that team back.
  • Ottawa, while no stranger to shaky goaltending either, is benefitting greatly from Matt Murray’s .939 save percentage in his last 6 games.
  • The Senators are still without their leading scorers Drake Batherson (points) and Josh Norris (goals). Batherson’s progress has been very encouraging, with a projected timeline of 6-8 weeks as of now. As for Norris, Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch reported earlier today that he’ll be out for another 2 weeks. Hopefully the return of Connor Brown — who has 19 points in 26 games this season — is enough of a boost to create the necessary offense to get the two points.
  • The Devils will also be without a key player in their lineup — 2019 first-overall pick Jack Hughes, who has 28 points in 29 games this season, entered COVID-19 protocol yesterday.
  • Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM EST, and you can catch the action on Sportsnet One, RDS, MSG+, and TSN 1200./


Team Stats

Game 41OttawaSenatorsNew JerseyDevils
Goals Against/GP3.3825th3.5329th
Shots Against/GP33.327th30.711th
Powerplay %18.422nd16.325th
Penalty Kill %80.713th82.012th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA)46.7424th49.7517th
xGF % (5v5 SVA)47.0024th49.6717th

Player Stats

Game 41OttawaSenatorsNew JerseyDevils
GoalsJosh Norris18Jesper Bratt14
AssistsDrake Batherson21Jesper Bratt27
PointsDrake Batherson34Jesper Bratt41
ShotsBrady Tkachuk132Jesper Bratt113
Time on Ice/GPThomas Chabot27:08Damon Severson23:37

Not everyone can afford to pay for sports coverage right now, and that is why we will keep as much of the site's content free for as long as we can.

But if you are able to, please consider subscribing to help keep our articles free (and get a few extra perks).

Erik Condra
  • Ability to comment and participate in our community
  • Twice monthly newsletter available only to subscribers
  • Ad-free reading
  • Our undying love and appreciation
Brady Tkachuk
  • Everything from the Erik Condra tier
  • 10% discount on all merch
  • Access to any future paywalled content
  • A personal thank-you from the Silver Seven staff
Daniel Alfredsson
  • Everything from the Brady Tkachuk tier
  • Inner peace knowing you are supporting quality, independent coverage of your favourite sports team