NHL Betting Preview: New Jersey at Ottawa Print
Written by TheSpread   
Saturday, 06 January 2007 05:23
NHL Headline News

Public Bettors Giving The Edge to Road Dog New Jersey Today in Ottawa

Team Page: New Jersey :: Ottawa

60% of Bets Placed on Devils +115 | Matchup | Goalies
Like the Ottawa Senators, the New Jersey Devils are in the midst of a point streak. They'll try to focus on extending theirs - and not think about the results of their last visit to Scotiabank Place - when the teams meet Saturday for the third time this season.

The Senators (22-18-2) are looking to earn a point for the seventh straight contest, while the Devils (23-13-4) have picked up a point in the last five games.

Oddsmakers have made Ottawa -125 money line (NHL Odds)

favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 total goals (View NHL Sports Books).

Ottawa opened 2006-07 with four straight home losses, but earned its first victory at Scotiabank Place in convincing fashion, 8-1 over New Jersey on Oct. 21. Dean McAmmond and Antoine Vermette each scored twice and 13 players recorded a point for the Senators, who posted their highest goal total of the season and their most lopsided victory.

New Jersey hadn't allowed that many goals since an 8-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Dec. 26, 1993.

The Senators are coming off another impressive win at home, recording four second-period goals Wednesday en route to a 6-3 victory over Buffalo - the Eastern Conference's top team.

Ottawa improved its season-high point streak to six games, going 5-0-1 in that span, thanks to a dominant performance from Dany Heatley. The Senators' leading scorer had struggled without injured linemate Jason Spezza, but snapped a five-game goal drought with three in the second period Wednesday.

Along with his NHL-high third hat trick of the season, Heatley added an assist to tie team records for goals and points in a period. He also matched his career high for points in a game.

"I think Dany works hard in a different way some nights, but I think now he's on the puck more,'' Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "He's trying to forecheck, he's in around the net more battling for loose pucks, I think he's going back a little deeper in his own end to get the puck going because we have that need, and he's becoming a better all-around player as a result of it.''

Ottawa is counting on Heatley's contributions with its top centers, Spezza and Mike Fisher, sidelined with knee injuries. Vermette (hip) is also day-to-day, forcing the Senators to play recently without three of their top five scorers.

Ottawa acquired center Mike Comrie from Phoenix on Wednesday to provide depth, and he contributed immediately with two assists that night.

The Senators' Ray Emery has made five straight starts, recording two shutouts and a 1.58 goals-against average in that span. He's 3-1-1 with a 1.98 GAA in five career starts against the Devils.

New Jersey's Martin Brodeur has also posted a 1.58 GAA in starting New Jersey's last five games, leading his team to a 4-0-1 mark in that span. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner, 26-16 with four ties and a 2.20 GAA in 46 starts against Ottawa, stopped a season-high 40 shots Thursday in a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders.

Zach Parise scored twice in the first period and is tied with Patrik Elias for the team lead with 16 goals this season.

"He's given us some huge goals this year,'' Devils coach Claude Julien said of Parise. "He's been as consistent as any player on this team. He had a good strong start and he's been building on it. He's very impressive for a second-year player.''

Parise was also impressive against the Senators in the clubs' most recent meeting, recording a goal and two assists to help the Devils win 3-2 on Nov. 17. Jamie Langenbrunner had two goals and an assist, and Travis Zajac notched three assists.

New Jersey defensemen Colin White (groin) and Johnny Oduya (upper body) are day-to-day.

by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us

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