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Senators host winless Devils in home opener

by Mike G. Morreale /

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


Season series: The Ottawa Senators won all three meetings last season. The first two matchups went to a shootout. Senators goalie Craig Anderson made 25 saves to earn a 2-0 win against the New Jersey Devils in the season finale between the teams on April 13, 2013. This is the first of three games between the teams this season. The Devils will host the next meeting on Dec. 18 at Prudential Center.

Big story: Welcome home, Ottawa! The Senators return home to play in front of their fans at Canadian Tire Centre for the first time this season after snapping a four-game winless streak on Tuesday with a 4-3 overtime victory against the Phoenix Coyotes, wrapping up a six-game road trip to begin 2013-14.

"Our goal was to have an opportunity to win [on Tuesday] and it would give us a .500 record," Senators coach Paul MacLean told the Ottawa Sun. "We can go home and feel good about that. We maybe don't feel good about the way we played all those games but it felt good to get some points out of four of those games."

Team Scope:

Devils: The Devils have established a club record by going winless in their first six games (0-3-3) this season. The team is 0-2-2 during its current five-game swing through Canada that concludes against Ottawa. The Devils either led or were tied heading into the third period against the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames but ultimately lost all four, including two in  shootouts (Islanders, Oilers) and one in overtime (Canucks).

"Right now we have to take a step back, evaluate where we're at," general manager Lou Lamoriello told "I have confidence in this group and coaching staff. You can't overreact at this point. Heading into the third period in five of those games we had every chance to win and that's what we have to look at. What made it go from one way to the other way in the third period?"

Senators: Captain Jason Spezza connected for a natural hat trick and Cory Conacher scored 2:48 into overtime as the Senators rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Coyotes on Tuesday at Arena. The three-goal effort was the first for Spezza since Feb. 14, 2012, in Tampa Bay.

"This was a desperate time for us and we stuck with it and were rewarded, even if we still didn't make it easy on ourselves," Spezza told reporters after the win. "We had to go to overtime and win it again but we found a way."

Who's hot: The Devils have been led by offseason acquisition Damien Brunner on offense; he has three goals and five points. … Spezza, Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan are tied for the Senators lead with five points apiece, but Spezza tops the team with four goals.

Injury report: Devils forward Ryane Clowe (head) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, retroactive to Oct. 13, and will miss at least two more games. … The Senators report no injuries.

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