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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 20th (All times eastern)

Minnesota Wild (33-29-8) at New Jersey Devils (46-21-3), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Martin Brodeur will be back between the pipes for the New Jersey Devils when they try to rebound from a loss in tonight's home test against the Minnesota Wild.

Brodeur was given a rare rest on Wednesday -- just one night after the legendary goaltender set the NHL's all-time record for victories -- and the Devils had a four-game winning streak halted at Carolina.

Kevin Weekes spelled Brodeur on Wednesday and stopped 28-of-32 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Hurricanes. Brodeur had defeated Chicago in New Jersey on Tuesday to earn the 552nd win of his career and pass Patrick Roy for the record.

Zach Parise and Brian Gionta tallied for the Devils, who lost for just the second time in 10 games.

The Devils come into tonight's contest with an 11-point lead over Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for first place in the Atlantic Division. With 95 points, Jersey is also just five points behind Boston for the Eastern Conference's top seed.

New Jersey has won a club-record 10 straight games on home ice and is 25-10-1 as the host this season. Following tonight's test the Devils will head back out on the road, as they are scheduled to begin a three-game trip Sunday in Boston.

Meanwhile, the Wild are fighting for their playoff lives and are currently just outside the Western Conference postseason picture. Minnesota has 74 points on the year and is just three behind Edmonton and Nashville, who are occupying the conference's final two playoff berths.

The Wild ended a four-game losing streak with Tuesday's close victory over Colorado, but despite that recent slide have recorded at least a point in five of their last six contests (2-1-3).

Minnesota recorded a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche as Nick Schultz tied the game late in the third period and Marek Zidlicky netted the deciding goal in the shootout, leading the Wild to the win at Xcel Energy Center.

Stephane Veilleux also scored in regulation for the Wild, while Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots for the win.

Minnesota is just 14-18-2 as the visiting team this season and has lost three straight, four of five and seven of its last nine road tests. The Wild will return home for Sunday's game against Edmonton, but will then head back out on a four-game road trip.

New Jersey is 5-1 with two ties in the eight all-time meetings against the Wild. Minnesota has never won in New Jersey, going 0-3 with a tie in the Garden State.

03/20 10:43:35 ET


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