The Ottawa Senators have gone 18 games without consecutive wins. They'll try to change that Wednesday night in New Jersey against a Devils team they've beaten in all four matchups this calendar year.
The Senators (14-15-6) defeated St. Louis 3-2 in overtime Monday to complete a 2-1-0 homestand with an especially local flavor. Ottawa native Cody Ceci scored his first NHL goal in his third game to give his club a victory over one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
"It was just a really special moment for me," Ceci told the team's official website. "To have my family and friends in the building, and for it to go in in overtime, and to win the game against a great team, it was pretty crazy the way things happened, and I'm happy the way they did."
The 19-year-old defenseman had been filling in on a depleted blue line, though his status going forward is uncertain with Marc Methot returning from illness. Ceci was a plus-2 against the Blues, one of the best offensive teams in hockey.
Senators leading scorer Bobby Ryan's third-period goal sent the game to overtime, and he assisted on Jean-Gabriel Pageau's first-period goal. Ryan also had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 home win over the Devils on Oct. 17 in the teams' only meeting this season.
Ottawa now heads to New Jersey looking to build on the win over the Blues, which came two days after a disheartening 5-2 loss to Los Angeles. The Senators haven't won two straight since a three-game run Nov. 5-9.
"We feel much better with the way we played," coach Paul MacLean said Monday. "We played a very good opponent in back-to-back games. The game against L.A. didn't turn out near as good as this one did, but I thought we responded. Our completion level and our commitment to playing without the puck and playing the game hard was much better and at a much higher level. The good news for us is that we did it and now we have to come back and get prepared to do it again."
The Devils (13-15-6) are also after consecutive wins and some clarity with their goaltending situation.
Martin Brodeur made his case for more starts in Saturday's 3-0 home win over Tampa Bay with 33 saves as the Devils avoided a third straight loss.
"It's exactly what we needed at the right time," coach Pete DeBoer said.
"I know for me, it's always been hard not to be there all the time," Brodeur said. "It's the way it is when you have two guys who can play. It always makes decisions difficult."
Brodeur will start against the Senators despite being in net for all four of his team's losses against them dating back to the start of last season. The Devils totaled only five goals.
Dainius Zubrus scored twice in the third period against the Lightning and was assisted by Jaromir Jagr on each. Zubrus has three goals in his last two games and a four-game point streak while Jagr has six assists on his own four-game streak.
The 41-year-old Jagr leads New Jersey with 28 points to go with a plus-11 rating for a team that has struggled offensively. Linemate Zubrus' plus-12 leads the team.
According to the Devils' official Twitter feed, forward Stephen Gionta could return after missing 11 games with an ankle injury.