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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 27th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Devils (19-11-3) at New York Rangers (22-12-3), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will try to avoid losing three straight games for the first time this season when they welcome the rival New Jersey Devils for an Atlantic Division showdown at Madison Square Garden.

The Devils and Rangers have played three of their six games against each other this year and New York is 2-1-0 in those matchups. New Jersey's 8-5 home win over the Rangers on December 12 was just its second win in the last 11 encounters with the Blueshirts.

Jersey has dropped five straight and eight of its last 10 contests at MSG.

The Rangers have lost back-to-back games for the sixth time this season, as they've dropped recent tests against San Jose and Washington. The Blueshirts are still leading the Atlantic with 47 points.

After losing a 3-2 decision in San Jose last Saturday, the Rangers returned for the start of a three-game homestand with Tuesday's battle against Washington. New York actually led the Capitals by a 4-0 score early in the second period, but wound up losing the game in overtime.

Shaone Morrisonn scored 59 seconds into the extra session to complete Washington's comeback win at the Garden. Morrisonn's game-winner came after the Caps scored three times in the third period to force the OT period.

Ryan Callahan scored twice for the Rangers and Chris Drury collected three assists. Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals on 36 shots in defeat.

The Rangers are 12-6-2 as the host this year and will complete their homestand Monday against the New York Islanders.

The Devils, meanwhile, have lost two straight games on the heels of a three- game winning streak. New Jersey's latest setback came on Friday night, as visiting Pittsburgh blanked the Devils, 1-0, at the Prudential Center. Marc- Andre Fleury stopped all 37 shots he faced to post his first shutout of the season for the Penguins.

Scott Clemmensen made 17 saves in the hard-luck loss for the Devils, who have suffered their second straight home blanking after Boston won, 2-0, on Tuesday. New Jersey had not been held without a goal in back-to-back games since January 26-27, 2006, falling to the Lightning and Panthers on the road.

The Devils are beginning a three-game road trip tonight and are 8-4-2 as the visiting team this year. New Jersey will also visit St. Louis on Tuesday before closing the swing in Dallas on New Year's Eve.

12/27 10:45:37 ET

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