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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 16th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Devils (25-15-3) at Columbus Blue Jackets (21-18-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Brendan Shanahan will join the New Jersey Devils tonight, but the club will have to wait to have their newest acquisition on the ice as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets for a battle at Nationwide Arena.

The Devils officially signed the veteran forward Shanahan on Thursday and he practiced with the club the same day. The 40-year-old Shanahan, who leads all active NHL players with 650 career goals, has joined the team in Columbus, but will not skate tonight.

Shanahan is back with the club that selected him with the second overall pick in the 1987 draft. He played four seasons with the Devils before signing as a free agent with St. Louis in the summer of 1991.

The Devils are 2-1-0 so far on a season-high six-game road trip and are coming off Tuesday's win in Vancouver. Travis Zajac had the eventual game-deciding goal and added an assist, as Jersey held on for a 5-3 win over the Canucks at GM Place.

Zach Parise and Dainius Zubrus also had a goal and an assist each for the Devils. Brian Rolston and Brian Gionta also scored, while Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves in the win.

The Devils are 12-7-2 as the visiting club this season and will next visit the New York Islanders on Saturday before completing the swing Monday in Nashville.

New Jersey, which has 53 points on the year, comes into tonight as the third- place team in the Atlantic Division, but trails the New York Rangers by just three points for the top spot. Philadelphia is second with 55 points.

The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, have won three straight and seven of their last nine games. Columbus' season-high winning streak was a four-gamer set from December 27 to January 2.

Columbus last played on Tuesday when it notched a home win over Colorado. Kristian Huselius registered a goal and two assists, leading the Blue Jackets to the 4-3 decision over the Avalanche.

R.J. Umberger had a goal and assisted on another for the Blue Jackets, while Jakub Voracek and Michael Peca also tallied.

Rookie goaltender Steve Mason made 23 saves to improve his record to 16-9-1 on the season. He has never faced the Devils in his brief career.

Tonight marks the end of a three-game homestand for the Jackets, who are 13-6-1 at Nationwide Arena this year and have won eight of their last nine home games. Columbus will kick off a three-game road trip to western Canada this Sunday in Vancouver.

The Devils and Jackets haven't met since Jersey posted a 1-0 home win on October 28, 2006. New Jersey has taken two of three and three of the last five overall meetings with the Blue Jackets, but it has dropped three of four in Columbus.

This is the Devils' first trip to Columbus since the Blue Jackets notched an overtime victory on December 11, 2005.

01/16 10:42:55 ET


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