(SportsNetwork.com) – The New Jersey Devils hope to continue their recent
surge as they shoot for a fourth win in five games when they host the Ottawa
Senators in Tuesday’s clash at Prudential Center.
The Devils enter tonight on a four-game point streak (3-0-1) after winning two
of three at the start of a five-game homestand.
The lone loss of the homestand came in Friday’s 2-1 overtime setback to
Pittsburgh, but New Jersey rebounded the following night with a 3-1 decision
over Florida. Keith Kinkaid made a rare start in net on Saturday and stopped
26-of-27 shots to help anchor the victory.
Kinkaid was bidding for his first NHL shutout, but allowed a goal to Brandon
Pirri with 1:29 remaining.
“Tough one to give up,” Kinkaid said. “I thought there was a little contact
and I couldn’t get over. I’m just happy we got the win.”
Steve Bernier had scored an empty-net goal a minute earlier to seal the win.
Jaromir Jagr and Mike Cammalleri had first-period goals for New Jersey, which
won despite putting only 14 shots on net.
The Devils registered just one shot in the second and two in the third. They
were outshot 27-14 in the game.
Cory Schneider will be back in net tonight for his 44th start of the season.
New Jersey’s workhorse goalie is 2-1-1 with a 1.21 goals against average in
four career games against Ottawa.
New Jersey is now 9-7-7 as the host this season and will complete this
homestand Friday against Toronto.
Ottawa has won two of its last three games and is coming off its best
offensive performance of the season in Saturday’s 7-2 rout of the visiting
Arizona Coyotes. The goals represented a season high for the Senators, who
only had managed to post more than three goals 12 times in 2014-15 before
exploding for seven against the Coyotes.
Robin Lehner made 35 saves for the win, and Ottawa scored four goals in a 5
1/2 minute span to pummel Arizona.
“He was great down the stretch,” Senators forward Bobby Ryan said of Lehner.
“He controlled the pace of the play.”
Milan Michalek and Mark Stone each scored in the closing minutes of the second
period, and Ryan and Jean-Gabriel Pageau added goals early in the third
Ottawa also got goals from Mike Hoffman, Erik Karlsson and Mika Zibanejad,
while Marc Methot tallied a career-high three assists.
The Sens hope to stay hot on the road, where they have lost two straight and
are just 9-12-5 this season.
Lehner will get the call in net again. He is 1-2-1 with a 2.68 GAA in his
career against New Jersey.
Tonight’s test marks the third and final meeting between the Devils and Sens
this season. Each club has posted a road win in the 2014-15 series, with New
Jersey winning 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 25 before Ottawa responded with a 2-0
victory at Prudential Center on Dec. 17.
Ottawa has claimed six of eight overall in this series and three of four in
the Garden State.
Both the Devils and Sens are outside the playoff picture in the East. Ottawa
is 11 points behind Washington for the last wild card spot and the Devils are
two behind the Sens.