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At the Rink: Senators at Devils

by Mike G. Morreale / NHL.com

NEWARK, N.J. -- Bobby Ryan said he expects a large crowd to be rooting for him when the Ottawa Senators visit the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

The native of Cherry Hill, N.J., is hoping to make it worth their while.

Ryan leads the Senators with 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists).

"I guess I've been trying to round my game into more of a two-way game; that's what they had asked me to do last year," Ryan said. "The points would come but they wanted me to be a little more trustworthy in some situations. I asked for that responsibility and I think I've tightened things up a little more defensively and it has allowed me to be more creative offensively; I've had more opportunities than I'm used to."

Ryan has found success on a line with left wing Clarke MacArthur and center Mika Zibanejad.

Ryan said he has benefitted from having Dave Cameron, who is 9-8-4 since taking over as Senators coach Dec. 8, behind the bench.

"He's just giving me the confidence," Ryan said. "He told me I was shying away from making plays and just putting the puck down the wall. He wanted me to know it was OK to move through the middle with it and take educated risks. I certainly have done that over the past 20 games; I've probably been playing my best hockey."

Ryan has nine goals and 20 points in 21 games with Cameron as coach.

Cameron also has New Jersey roots. He played parts of two seasons with the Devils, in 1982-83 and 1983-84. He had 14 goals and 30 points in 102 games.

"When I played there was a lot of losing," Cameron said. "When I was there it was a franchise that started to rebuild with Ken Daneyko, Pat Verbeek, Joe Cirella and Aaron Broten. They were acquiring high-end guys and I was here at the start of it all.

"It was a thrill to play in the NHL but I was a fourth-line, up-and-down guy. For me just getting the opportunity to get in NHL games and play with some really good guys was great. But the losing takes a toll on you."

He sees the recent Devils as a team looking to exhibit that sound defensive structure that once led to three Stanley Cup championships.

"They are back to the old Devils where they are stingy with the puck," he said. "They don't give you much and clog up the neutral zone. When they have four stacked at the blue line we can't turn it over."

Here are the projected lines:

SENATORS

Clarke MacArthur - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Milan Michalek - Mark Stone - David Legwand

Mike Hoffman - Kyle Turris - Curtis Lazar

Erik Condra - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Chris Neil

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Jared Cowen - Cody Ceci

Patrick Wiercioch - Mark Borowiecki

Robin Lehner

Andrew Hammond

Scratched: Alex Chiasson, Chris Phillips, Eric Gryba

Injured: Craig Anderson (hand), Zack Smith (wrist)

DEVILS

Dainius Zubrus - Mike Cammalleri - Jaromir Jagr

Patrik Elias - Travis Zajac - Martin Havlat

Adam Henrique - Scott Gomez - Steve Bernier

Tuomo Ruutu - Jacob Josefson - Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

Jon Merrill - Marek Zidlicky

Mark Fraser - Peter Harrold

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Eric Gelinas, Michael Ryder

Injured: Stephen Gionta (fractured hand), Damon Severson (fractured left ankle), Bryce Salvador (back), Ryane Clowe (suspected concussion)

Status report: Devils coach Lou Lamoriello confirmed that there will be no lineup changes other than Schneider in net. Fraser didn't practice Monday but was back on the ice Tuesday. … Wiercioch and Borowiecki will replace Phillips and Gryba for the Senators. Phillips will establish a Senators record for games played Thursday when the Senators return to Ottawa. He's currently tied with Daniel Alfredsson with 1,178.

Who's hot: Cammalleri is tied with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, Matt Beleskey of the Anaheim Ducks and Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes for most game-winning goals this season (six). He has 11 game-winners in 51 games, dating to March 12, 2014. … Zibanejad has three goals and five points in the past four games.

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