The New Jersey Devils are in rare company, winning 11 straight games for just the second time in franchise history. They will try to make it a dozen against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata. Both teams are coming off wins, with the Devils topping the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, in overtime on Nov. 17 while the Senators defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, on Nov. 16.
The Devils’ overtime win against Toronto is another chapter in the novel that is the team’s stellar winning streak. After the Leafs pulled ahead on an Auston Matthews goal, Jesper Bratt tied the game 24 seconds later. To start the second period, captain Nico Hischier found the back of the net three minutes in on a wrister. “To have that resilience, that mindset that now we have to come back and have another one to win this game, just great to see,” Hischier said about his game-tying goal. The Devils are 11-0 when the captain scores a goal.
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Toronto tied the game with the extra skater on late in the third, sending the game to overtime. Less than a minute in, Jack Hughes picked off Mitch Marner and took a shot that was saved before Yegor Sharangovich scored the overtime winner. Vitek Vanecek was stellar again, saving 25 shots and maintaining his perfect record with the Devils.
This is the second meeting between the Senators and the Devils, as the two teams played on Nov. 10 at the Prudential Center. Hischier tipped in the overtime winner off a Dougie Hamilton blast from the blue line. Following the game against Ottawa, the Devils have two straight home games against the Edmonton Oilers and the Maple Leafs. The Devils are in the middle of a run in which 10 out of 11 games are against Canadian teams.
*Lineups courtesy of NHL.com
The Devils Lines:
Tomas Tatar – Nico Hischier – Fabian Zetterlund
Erik Haula – Jack Hughes – Dawson Mercer
Yegor Sharangovich – Jesper Boqvist – Jesper Bratt
Miles Wood – Michael McLeod – Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves – John Marino
Brendan Smith – Damon Severson
The Senators Projected Lines:
Brady Tkachuk – Tim Stützle – Claude Giroux
Alex DeBrincat – Derick Brassard – Mathieu Joseph
Tyler Motte – Shane Pinto – Drake Batherson
Parker Kelly – Dylan Gambrell – Austin Watson
Jake Sanderson – Travis Hamonic
Erik Brannstrom – Artem Zub
Nick Holden – Jacob Bernard-Docker
What’s Happening in Ottawa:
Since the Senators’ last game against New Jersey, the results have been a mixed bag. They were able to get a win in Claude Giroux’s return to Philadelphia on Nov. 12, as they broke out for two goals in the third period to get the victory. “I didn’t want to get emotional,” Giroux said of the game. “We needed this win. You try to stay focused as much as you can.” While it was an important game for Ottawa, it was unfortunately not all good news. Star defenseman Thomas Chabot left the game due to an injury, and he will be out long term.
After a tough loss to the New York Islanders on Nov. 14, they soundly defeated the Sabres 4-1 two days later. Four different Senators found the back of the net in the victory, and it gave Buffalo their seventh straight defeat. Following today’s game against New Jersey, Ottawa has their West Coast road trip, playing away from Canadian Tire Centre for four games before returning home to play the New York Rangers on Nov. 30.
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New Jersey Devils: Yegor Sharangovich
While Yegor Sharangovich has not been the focal point of the Devils’ offense, he has been a key contributor during the streak. His goal against the Maple Leafs was his fourth of the season, giving him seven points in 17 games. The goal broke a drought for Sharangovich, who last had a point against the Vancouver Canucks back on Nov. 1.
Sharangovich has played on the third line alongside Dawson Mercer and Jesper Boqvist, who have had successes in their own right this season. However, against the Maple Leafs, he had Bratt as his fellow wingman, which could provide him more opportunities to score going forward if that pairing continues. Even though Sharangovich has seen less time on the ice these past two games, playing under 13 minutes and 16 shifts, he made the most of his opportunity in the extra period. If the Devils can get Sharangovich clicking, New Jersey’s offense could become one of the most feared in the league.
Ottawa Senators: Jake Sanderson
It has been an impressive season for Senators rookies. Shane Pinto has nine points in 16 games, but he is matched in that category by Jake Sanderson. While the 2020 fifth-overall pick has not found the back of the net this year, he has nine assists on the year, two of them coming in the victory over the Sabres. Sanderson also shot a rocket that was tipped in by Brady Tkachuk and gave the Sens a 2-1 lead. Recently, he has stepped into the role that Chabot had, playing nearly 25 minutes in the win against Buffalo. Sanderson has made a quick impact in his time in the NHL, and he hopes to carry the Senators’ defense for a long time.
Where to Watch:
The Devils and Senators game will actually be carried on two different networks. MSGSN will carry the game with Bill Spaulding and Ken Daneyko on commentary, but NHL Network will also broadcast the game. For fans who cannot tune in, the Devils Hockey Network will also provide the opportunity to listen to the game. Matt Loughlin and Chico Resch will be on commentary duties as usual.
Erik Johnsen is one of the NJ Devils writer for The Hockey Writers. He is also a writer for Triple Play Newsletter. Erik is a 2022 Rider University graduate, and co-hosts a podcast called Too Many Men.