After struggling mightily in their first game without Erik Karlsson, the Ottawa Senators will look for a better performance on Monday afternoon when they visit the New Jersey Devils. Ottawa suffered its second straight loss and sixth in eight outings following a 3-0 setback to provincial rival Toronto on Saturday. Craig Anderson turned aside 28 shots as the Senators dealt with the absence of the reigning Norris Trophy winner, who is lost for the season after severing his left Achilles tendon versus Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
New Jersey suffered its second defeat in three games as John Tavares recorded his fourth career hat trick to propel the New York Islanders to a convincing 5-1 decision on Saturday. Ilya Kovalchuk extended his point streak to six games with an assist - which was his 800th career point. The Devils won three of the four meetings last season, with Kovalchuk netting a pair of goals in the finale on April 7.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, RSNE (Ottawa), MSG (New Jersey)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (7-6-2): Coach Paul McLean's club has been sizzling in Canada's capital - and has struggled everywhere else. Ottawa is just 2-5-0 on the road this season and faces a team which has collected 13 of a possible 16 points at home (6-1-1). MacLean noted that Ben Bishop will get the start in goal on Monday. Despite the Senators' woes, captain Daniel Alfredsson kept a positive outlook. "We played a pretty solid road game," Alfredsson said after the team's loss to Toronto. "They get their bounces on their two bounces and we can't find ours. Overall, the new guys came in and the whole team played a solid road game and gave us a chance to win."
ABOUT THE DEVILS (9-3-3): Johan Hedberg gave Martin Brodeur a day off on Saturday, but the latter is expected to be back in net against the Senators. Brodeur split a pair of decisions versus Ottawa last season. Patrik Elias has collected two goals and nine assists in his last seven contests. Elias leads the club with 15 helpers while David Clarkson has a team-best 10 goals. Clarkson, however, has tallied twice in 17 career contests against the Senators.
1. Devils D Marek Zidlicky had the lone goal on Saturday for the Devils. It was his first since a 4-2 triumph over Philadelphia in Game 4 of the second round of the playoffs.
2. After leaving the Garden State, Ottawa will open a four-game homestand versus the Islanders.
3. Kovalchuk has three goals and seven assists on his point streak.
PREDICTION: Devils 3, Senators 1