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newjerseydevils.com – The Devils haven't faced the Ottawa Senators since opening night at Prudential Center.
With the battle underway for playoff positioning, the Devils will play the defending Eastern Conference champions twice in the next four days beginning tonight at Prudential Center (7 p.m., FSN NY, WFAN 660 AM).
New Jersey (31-21-4) is three points behind Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division, with just a one-point lead over third-place Philadelphia.
Goaltender Martin Brodeur is in the midst of another outstanding season, ranking second in the league in wins (29) and fifth in GAA (2.19). Brodeur had an easy game Saturday, stopping 22 shots in the Devils' 6-1 home victory over Carolina.
Paul Martin scored twice and fellow defensemen Colin White and Johnny Oduya also found the back of the net as New Jersey rebounded from back-to-back losses by matching its largest margin of victory this season.
"The locker room before the game was a lot livelier than it's been in a while," captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "You could tell we were focused and ready to go."
Devils leading scorer Zach Parise has gone three straight games without a point, one shy of his longest drought of the season. He has four goals and five assists in 10 career games against Ottawa.The Senators have won both meetings this season against the Devils following a three-game skid in the series. New Jersey lost 4-1 to Ottawa on Oct. 27 at Prudential Center after opening the season with a nine-game road trip that included a 4-2 loss to the Senators on Oct. 8.
Martin Gerber likely will get another chance to prove he is worthy of the No. 1 role.
Senators coach John Paddock has alternated between Gerber and Ray Emery recently, hoping one of them will seize control of the starting job.
Emery appeared to be doing that with two straight wins, including a 33-save performance in a 6-1 victory over Montreal on Saturday. He played well over the first two periods versus visiting Buffalo on Tuesday, but allowed four goals on 12 shots in the final 20 minutes in a 5-1 loss.
With games on consecutive nights, Gerber figures to be back in net Wednesday for Ottawa, which has lost four of its last six contests.
Gerber has failed to win in his last two starts, allowing seven goals on 54 shots. He is 3-0-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average, though, in his last four games against New Jersey.
The Senators are still five points ahead of Montreal in the Northeast Division, but have seen their lead in the Eastern Conference sliced to three points over Pittsburgh. The Canadiens travel to Florida while the Penguins play host to Boston on Wednesday.
Emery wasn't the only Senator to struggle on Tuesday. The high-scoring line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza was held without a point after combining for 15 in Saturday's victory.
Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore - both acquired Monday from Carolina - made their Senators debuts against the Sabres. Stillman, who played on a line with Mike Fisher and Chris Neil, assisted on Randy Robitaille's second-period power-play goal.
The Devils and Senators close out the season series this Saturday night at Scotiabank Place.
with wire services
DEVILS CAP DAY set for Monday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m.
Make your plans now for Devils Cap Day on Monday, Feb. 18 at Prudential Center!
The Devils will host the Carolina Hurricanes for a Presidents' Day matinee at 1 p.m., and all fans in attendance will receive a Devils cap, courtesy of Fox Sports.
Tickets for all upcoming Devils games are available by visiting the arena box office Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., by clicking here to purchase online, or by calling Ticketmaster Charge by Phone: NJ (201) 507-8900 - NY: (212) 307-7171.