The Senators this week

A quick look at the upcoming week for the Ottawa Senators.

The Senators this week
Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates after scoring in the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on March 21, 2013 in Buffalo, United States. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

MONDAY VS NEW JERSEY

The Senators will be facing a hobbled New Jersey Devils group in the first of three games at Scotiabank Place this week. Saturday night, the Devils lost star winger Ilya Kovalchuk to a shoulder injury that’s expected to keep him out between two and four weeks. Given Jersey wasn’t much of an offensive powerhouse to begin with — the team ranks 24th in the National Hockey League in goals per game — subtracting a player who had 10 goals and 17 assists in 32 games is a significant blow. The good news is that the Devils have won both of their games since goalie Martin Brodeur returned from injury last week. The Devils went 3-8-2 without him in the lineup. And as if stopping the puck wasn’t enough, he scored a goal in his first game back.

7:30 p.m., TV: SNET-E, TVA
Radio: Team 1200 AM

THURSDAY VS NEW YORK

The Senators helped earn one coach his walking papers over the weekend (Tampa Bay’s Guy Boucher) and could put pressure on another one with a win here. The New York Rangers entered this season as Stanley Cup favourites after picking up goal-scoring winger Rick Nash, but they’ve been struggling to stay in a playoff position and some wonder whether bench boss John Tortorella’s suffocating style has run its course in the Big Apple. Only two teams average fewer goals per game in the league this season — unacceptable for a squad that boasts Nash, Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has certainly had enough. After the Rangers lost 3-1 to the Florida Panthers last week, he said: “It’s getting old. We just have to put the puck in the net.”

7:30 p.m., TV: RDS, SNET-E
Radio: Team 1200 AM

SATURDAY VS TORONTO

For the first time in what feels like ages, the Battle of Ontario has late-season significance. The Senators and Leafs are currently fifth and sixth in the Eastern Conference, separated by only three points. If the Boston Bruins wind up catching the Montreal Canadiens for the Northeast Division lead, that’ll put the Habs fourth, jamming up the middle of the standings with Canadian teams. As a result, you can expect all remaining games involving two of the three rivals to be hard-fought, intense matchups. The current sideshow in Toronto is the sudden emergence of Nazem Kadri, who has vaulted himself into the top 10 in NHL scoring with eight points in his last three games. The 22-year-old leads his team in goals, assists and points and is a plus-17 on the year.

7 p.m., TV: CBC
Radio: Team 1200 AM

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