Senators 2, Devils 0

Ed Barmakian, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


NEWARK, N.J. -- The Ottawa Senators stopped their five-game skid on Thursday with a victory in Philadelphia and then came to New Jersey and extended the Devils' slump with a 2-0 victory over the Devils on Friday night before 16,099 at the Prudential Center.
The Devils (15-16-10), the 2012 Stanley Cup runner-up, lost for the ninth straight time (0-5-4) and stand 10th in the Eastern Conference standings with 40 points. The Rangers (44), with a game in hand, are eighth and Winnipeg, which has six games to play, stands ninth, also with 44 points.
Can the Devils still make the playoffs with seven games to go? The bigger question might be whether New Jersey can win another game this season?
Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson came up with 33 saves to hand New Jersey its second shutout of the nine-game losing streak and the first at home for the Devils since Colorado's Jean-Sebastian Giguere made 33 saves in a 1-0 win on March 15, 2012.
The Devils are 3-15-6 when their opponent scores first and have lost four straight at home. New Jersey next plays at Toronto on Monday.
Ottawa (21-14-6) took a 1-0 lead 3:08 into the second period on the first career goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The Ottawa native made his NHL debut on Thursday against the Flyers, picking up an assist. He got his first goal when he skated in front of the net and deflected a backhand shot by Colin Greening past Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.
It became a 2-0 game at 6:52 of the second when Milan Michalek finished a two-man rush on a pass from Daniel Alfredsson. The play started from a faceoff taken to the left of Anderson. The puck squirted out toward the blue line, where Devils defensemen Mark Zidlicky and Henrik Tallinder bumped into each other. That sprung Alfredsson for the dash that Michalek knocked past a helpless Brodeur.
For the first time in its last four home games, the Devils did not allow a first-period goal, but New Jersey's futility on the power play continued. Since Steve Sullivan scored a power-play goal in the first period against Buffalo on Sunday, the Devils have not scored with an extra skater in 15 straight opportunities.
The Devils had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:24 in the first period and managed just two shots. New Jersey was 0-3 on the power play in the scoreless first period.
NOTES: Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk did not participate in the morning skate and missed his ninth straight game Friday. Heading into Friday, the Devils had not won since Kovalchuk injured his shoulder during the third period of a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on March 23... Brodeur was in net for the 11th straight game since returning from a pinched nerve in his neck on March 21. In the previous 10 games, Brodeur is 2-4-4 with a 2.36 GAA and a .888 save percentage...The Devils went into Friday's game with a 0-4-4 winless streak and missing two defensemen, team captain Bryce Salvador and Anton Volchenkov. Salvador has a badly bruised wrist, courtesy of a Zdeno Chara's slap shot in the Bruins' 5-4 victory on Wednesday. In that same game, Volchenkov earned a four-game suspension for elbowing Boston's Brad Marchand in the head...Ottawa won the first two games of the series against the Devils, both in shootouts, including a 3-2 win on March 25.

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