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Devils at Senators preview

New Jersey eyes best start since 2002-03; Ottawa looking for first home win

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

DEVILS (5-1-0) at SENATORS (3-1-2)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, MSG+, NHL.TV 

 

The Game 

The New Jersey Devils visit the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday, trying to begin a season 6-1-0 for the first time since 2002-03. The Devils, 3-0-0 on the road, are playing the first half of back-to-back games; they host the San Jose Sharks at Prudential Center on Friday.

The Ottawa Senators are looking for their first win at home (0-1-2). They lost 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, their first regulation loss of the season.

 

Players to watch

Devils defenseman Will Butcher is the first rookie defenseman in NHL history to record at least nine assists in his first six career games, and third in League history to have nine points in his first six games. Harry Cameron had 15 points (nine goals, six assists) with the Toronto Arenas in 1917-18 and Phil Housley had nine points (two goals, seven assists) with the Buffalo Sabres in 1982-83.

Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson will play his second game since returning from surgery on his left foot to repair torn tendons June 14. Karlsson had no points and was minus-2 in 22:25 against the Canucks.

 

They said it

"We're winning so I'm looking forward to wins, not my first goal. I just try each night to help the team as much as I can. It's going to happen." -- Devils forward Nico Hischier

"I'm just going to need some time here to get back into the swing of things. It's only going to get better from here." -- Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Nico Hischier -- Drew Stafford

Marcus Johansson -- Adam Henrique -- Kyle Palmieri

Jesper Bratt -- Pavel Zacha -- Brian Gibbons

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman -- Stefan Noesen

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

John Moore -- Steven Santini

Will Butcher -- Dalton Prout

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched:  Mirco Mueller, Ben Lovejoy, Jimmy Hayes

Injured: Travis Zajac (torn pectoral muscle), Brian Boyle (leukemia), Michael McLeod (knee)

 

Senators projected lineup

Zack Smith -- Kyle Turris -- Ryan Dzingel

Bobby Ryan -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Nate Thompson -- Logan Brown -- Alexandre Burrows

Johnny Oduya -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Fredrik Claesson -- Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: None

Injured: Colin White (left wrist), Ben Harpur (shoulder), Mark Borowiecki (upper body)

 

Status report

Phaneuf did not take part in the morning skate but will play. … Borowiecki, who was injured Tuesday against the Canucks, is day-to-day.

 

Stat pack

Schneider is 6-3-1 with a 1.67 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in his career against the Senators. … Gibbons has three goals in six games for the Devils this season; He had five goals in a combined 66 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets during the previous two seasons.

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