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At the Rink: Devils at Senators

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA – Andrew Hammond will start in goal as the Ottawa Senators' search for consistency continues against the New Jersey Devils at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, MSG+, TSN5).

The Senators, coming off a 7-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, also could also have a shakeup on the blue line. They called up defensemen Fredrik Claesson and Michael Kostka on Tuesday from Binghamton of the American Hockey League. Ottawa coach Dave Cameron said he had some "banged-up guys" on defense, including Mark Borowiecki and Marc Methot, who each will be a game-time decision.

Cameron shortened his bench against the Bruins, with defenseman Jared Cowen playing 9:28.

"Our whole team wasn’t good enough for 60 minutes (against the Bruins)," Cameron said when asked specifically about Cowen’s play.

"We dropped a dud. There’s no way around it," Senators forward Bobby Ryan said.

The Devils, who defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Tuesday, did not skate. The Senators were in and out of meetings Wednesday morning.

The Senators have given up an average of 34.1 shots a game, the most in the NHL. Goaltender Craig Anderson has faced 1,010 shots this season, the most in the League.

The Senators have lost six of their past nine games (3-5-1) and consistency, from game to game and from period to period, has been an issue.

Cameron's mantra has become "Stick to the structure for 60 minutes."

"We touched on a ton of stuff," Ryan said about the meetings Wednesday. "We recognize the fact that (Anderson) has had too much work to do lately. When we went on the run or played better late last season, the things that we did to cut down scoring chances to that number of 11 or 12 a game aren’t being done right now. That’s a matter of fact.

"We’ve got to find a way to protect (Anderson and Hammond) a little more than we have, because we can’t ask them to do it every night.'

The Devils are 5-0-2 against Atlantic Division teams on the road this season. They have won two of their past three games and have points in three of the past four to pull within a point of the Senators for the second wild-card position in the Eastern Conference.

When asked if that made the game Tuesday more significant, Cameron said: "You can ask me that question every day between now and the end of the year. There’s a bunch of teams jammed up and we’re going to stay that way."

The Devils placed center Jacob Josefson (lower body) on injured reserve and called up right wing Mike Sislo from Albany of the AHL.

Keith Kinkaid was in goal for the Devils victory against the Hurricanes.

Here are the projected lineups:


Mike Cammalleri - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri

Jiri Tlusty - Adam Henrique - Lee Stempniak

Stefan Matteau - Sergey Kalinin - Mike Sislo

Bobby Farnham - Stephen Gionta - Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

John Moore - Damon Severson

Jon Merrill - David Schlemko

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Injured: Tuomo Ruutu (illness), Patrik Elias (knee), Ryan Clowe (concussion), Jacob Josefson (lower body).

Scratched: Eric Gelinas, Tyler Kennedy


Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Zack Smith - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone

Curtis Lazar - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Alex Chiasson

Shane Prince - Max McCormick - Chris Neil

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Patrick Wiercioch - Mark Borowiecki

Jared Cowen - Chris Wideman

Andrew Hammond

Craig Anderson

Injured: Cody Ceci (upper body), Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Milan Michalek (finger)

Scratched: Fredrik Claesson, Michael Kostka, David Dziurzynski

Status report: Cameron said Lazar is ready to return from what Lazar said was a groin injury, but Cameron said he hadn’t decided which forward would come out. Lazar missed two games. ... This will be Sislo's first NHL game this season. His 13 goals, including nine on the power play, lead Albany. He will see power-play time.

Who's hot: Palmieri has three goals and an assist in his past three games. … Karlsson has three goals and six assists in a seven-game point-scoring streak. … Zibanejad has two goals and an assist in his past three games.

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