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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 10th (All times Eastern)
New Jersey Devils (12-13-6) at Columbus Blue Jackets (12-15-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets had a lengthy shutout streak snapped in a loss on Tuesday, but will try to rebound when they host the low- scoring New Jersey Devils in Tuesday's game at Nationwide Arena.
Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis McElhinney posted consecutive shutouts against Tampa Bay and Minnesota and the club entered Monday's test in Pittsburgh with a shutout streak of 137 minutes, 45 seconds. McElhinney gave up two goals on 30 shots, however, in a 2-1 regulation loss against the Penguins.
After blanking the Penguins in a scoreless first period, McElhinney surrendered a goal to Evgeni Malkin at 4:16 of the second to halt the Columbus shutout streak at 162:01. Malkin raced through the neutral zone and up the right wing with the puck on his backhand. He breezed by Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin and moved it to his forehand to beat McElhinney.
"I don't know if it was just a broken play or what, but you have an elite guy like that coming with a head of steam," McElhinney said. "He's got a lot of options and obviously the one I tried against him didn't work."
Sidney Crosby scored the eventual game-winner early in the third period and Matt Calvert contributed the Blue Jackets' lone goal late in the final stanza.
McElhinney is the club's No. 1 goaltender at the moment, thanks to an injury to reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, but Mike McKenna could get a start on Tuesday with the Blue Jackets playing on consecutive days.
Columbus had lost five straight in the series against the Devils before posting a 4-1 home win on Oct. 22. It was the first win for the Blue Jackets against New Jersey since a 3-2 overtime decision in Columbus on Dec. 11, 2005.
The Devils will try to post a second straight win at the start of a three-game road trip when they visit the Buckeye State on Tuesday.
New Jersey halted a three-game slide by recording a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday against the New York Rangers. Eric Gelinas potted a power-play goal 1:15 into the extra session to lift the Devils to the road win at Madison Square Garden. The comeback victory was the third win in as many games for the Devils against the Rangers this season.
The Devils trailed 2-0 early in the second, but ripped off three straight goals to jump in front before Chris Kreider scored on a power play with 21.3 seconds left in regulation to bring the Rangers even. However, New York's Ryan Callahan took a high-sticking double-minor 1:02 into the extra session, and Gelinas lit the lamp with a blast from the top of the right circle just 13 seconds into the man advantage.
"Probably the biggest (goal) of my career besides my first one," Gelinas said of his game-winning marker. "It was a great feeling."
Michael Ryder, Travis Zajac and Cam Janssen each scored once, while Martin Brodeur posted 21 saves for the Devils, who improved to 7-8-3 on the road this season.
Brodeur will get the start over fellow Jersey goaltender Cory Schneider again on Tuesday. He is 7-2-1 with a tie in 11 career games against the Blue Jackets. Schneider took the loss against Columbus earlier this season, allowing three goals on 23 shots in the setback on Oct. 22.
Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky sat out Saturday's game with an upper-body injury and is questionable for tonight's tilt.
12/10 11:01:05 ET
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