(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators put the brakes on a five-game losing
streak that had put their playoff chances in danger.
The New Jersey Devils' eight-game slide has already knocked the club outside
of the postseason picture and they'll try to pick up a much-needed win on
Friday when they host the Sens.
The Devils have fallen into 10th place in the Eastern Conference thanks to
their longest losing streak since dropping eight in a row during the 1985-86
season. They are four points behind the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets for
the eighth spot in the conference, but things could be worse.
New Jersey has kept within reach thanks to four post-regulation losses over
its slide, but failed to secure a point in Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Boston
New Jersey gave up three goals in the first period and trailed 4-0 early in
the second. Goals by Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac and Andy Greene made it a one-
goal game, but Boston got some breathing room with Tyler Seguin's goal 7:33
into the third.
Matt D'Agostini tallied for the Devils with 37 seconds to play, but time ran
out on the comeback bid.
"At the end of the day, there's only one team that's gonna give us a chance
and it's ourselves. We have to have that attitude," said Devils goaltender
Martin Brodeur, who made 13 saves on 18 shots faced.
All eight losses for the Devils have come since forward Ilya Kovalchuk
suffered a sprained right shoulder on March 23 versus Florida, the date of New
Jersey's last win. Though he is skating with the team and is nearing a return,
he is unlikely to play tonight.
He won't be on the only player missing as Bryce Salvador took a shot off his
wrist on Wednesday and did not return to the game, while defenseman Anton
Volchenkov will begin serving a four-game suspension handed down on Thursday
for an elbow to the head of Boston's Brad Marchand.
The franchise record for the longest losing streak in Devils history is 10,
set from Oct. 14-Nov. 4, 1983.
The Sens will try to push the Devils one step closer to that mark after
snapping a five-game slide with Thursday's 3-1 win over the Philadelphia
Flyers. All five of those defeats came in regulation, but the two points
earned last night has Ottawa tied with the New York Islanders for sixth in the
East with a game in hand, and two points up on the Rangers and Jets.
Colin Greening had the game-winning goal late in the third period on Thursday
while on the power play, while Zack Smith and Daniel Alfredsson added goals.
"It's something we almost felt was coming because I think that we've been
playing pretty good the last few games and we stuck with it tonight,"
Alfredsson said. "It's two really important points for us."
Robin Lehner posted 24 saves for the Senators, who had lost the first four of
a seven-game road trip that ends on Monday in Boston. Ottawa is just 7-11-3 on
the road this season.
The Sens have picked up a pair of shootout wins over the Devils this season
and are looking to sweep the season series for the first time in franchise
history. They have lost eight of their past 10 in New Jersey, however.
The Sports Network