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Game Day Build-Up: Senators vs. Devils, Jan. 3

 

 

The set-up

The Belleville Senators will look to start 2018 in winning fashion when they host the Binghamton Devils in their first game of the New Year.

The Sens (13-18-0-3) have gone 3-7 over their last 10 games while the Devils (10-17-4-1) have won just twice in their past 10 match-ups.

Belleville continues to lead the American Hockey League in penalty minutes with 646 and are 7-8 at home this season. Binghamton are 5-8-2-1 away from home.

Pre-game thoughts

As the calendar ticks into 2018, the Senators currently sit six points out of a playoff spot and captain Mike Blunden acknowledges the team needs to start putting together a winning streak to propel themselves into a playoff spot.

Mike Blunden

“We just need to be able to bring it every night. If you want to play pro hockey you’ve got to be able to bring it every night and we’ve got to find a way to get a streak. We can’t just win one, lose one, win one, lose one, we’ve got to kind of get on a roll here and get hot if we want to make the playoffs.”

Roster notes

The Sens got some help upfront before Sunday’s game against Toronto as forward Nick Paul was reassigned to Belleville by Ottawa.

Andrew Hammond started on New Years Eve so expect either Danny Taylor, Chris Driedger or Marcus Hogberg to start, with the latter likely the best candidate after his outstanding performance on Dec. 30.

Defenceman Pat Sieloff left Saturday’s game against Providence after taking a shot to the helmet and didn’t play against Toronto and his status remains up in the air for tonight.

Forwards Ben Sexton and Kyle Flanagan remain the only other absentees for the Senators.

Previous history

After winning the first two games of the series, the Sens were beaten 5-2 by the Devils in their first return to Binghamton on Dec. 16. Belleville is 2-0 against Binghamton at the Yardmen this year.

Who to watch

Senators forward Max McCormick has been on a bit of a roll recently for the Sens as he’s tallied five points (one goal) in his last three games. The 25-year-old leads the Sens in scoring with 18 points (five goals) in 32 games.

Since being acquired in a trade with Tucson, forward Michael Latta has scored two goals and added three assists in six games with the Devils. He scored his first goal in his debut against Belleville when the sides last met.

Where to watch

Wednesday’s game starts at 7pm and can be seen live on www.theahl.com through their AHL Live application (subscription required) or at Shoeless Joe’s in Belleville.

The radio broadcast on CJBQ 800 begins at 6:50pm with David Foot on the call and Paul Svoboda on colour.

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