The last two times the Devils played Ottawa, they both led to victories for Our Favorite Hockey Team at the Rock. The first time, it went extremely well, a dominant victory for the dominant team. The second time, it wasn't such a great win - but the Devils got the job done in overtime.
Tonight's game will be important, as is nearly every game from here on out. It's the first game for both teams in the rush for the playoffs. For the Devils, it's to keep pace in the Atlantic and compete for the division title. For the Senators, it's to keep hope alive for the playoffs (as faint as it may be). Both want to start strong. Especially for the Devils, who have games against the Bruins and the Penguins looming later this week.
The Senators get to host the Devils this time around and they're going to want some revenge. According to the Senators' website, Anton Volchenkov will be returning and he says he's going to play hard.
"I'll play the same way," Volchenkov said after the Senators returned to the ice earlier this afternoon for the first time since the National Hockey League's all-star break began last Thursday. "I play hard. I won't change for sure."
That should certainly give the home team some sort of a boost. As far as the Devils, go, Gulitti postulates (and probably correctly) that Scott Clemmensen will get the start and we'll likely see the same line up for the game as we've seen in past weeks. It's weird typing that half of the sentence since Brent Sutter's calling card from last season was a continual shifting of lines both between and during games. It's a testament to the chemistry not only between the players, but also the faith Sutter and the coaching staff has with the current units (Pandolfo nonwithstanding).
As always, feel free to leave a comment before, during, and after the game. Just keep it clean and keep it relevant. Go Devils.