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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, March 13th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Devils (36-21-11-2) at Philadelphia Flyers (36-17-13-6), 3 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will aim to extend their advantage in the Atlantic Division while remaining in the thick of the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference today, when they battle the arch-rival New Jersey Devils at the Wachovia Center.

Despite playing without a pair of stars in Keith Primeau (concussion) and Jeremy Roenick (broken jaw/concussion), the Flyers have managed to post a 3-1-1 record in their last five games.

Philly currently sits second in the East with 91 points -- four points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Flyers own a commanding six-point advantage over the Devils in the Atlantic.

The Flyers skated to a 2-2 tie with the Dallas Stars at the Wachovia Center Thursday night. Marcus Ragnarsson and Tony Amonte lit the lamp in the winning effort for Philadelphia, while Alexei Zhamnov posted two assists in the contest.

Robert Esche made 37 saves for Philadelphia. For the year, Esche is 19-7-6 between the pipes.

The Flyers played against former teammate Chris Therien for the first time. Therien was traded to Dallas just a few days ago in exchange for a pair of draft picks. He had played his entire career for the Flyers since making his pro debut during the 1994-95 season.

Philadelphia is unbeaten (4-0-1) in its last five home tilts. On the season, the Flyers are 22-7-3-3 in the friendly confines of the Wachovia Center.

New Jersey enters this contest with wins in two of its last three contests. The Devils currently own the sixth spot in the East, but they are only two points ahead of seventh place Montreal. New Jersey also sits just three points back of Toronto and Ottawa.

The Devils are coming off a 6-4 thumping of the Chicago Blackhawks at Continental Airlines Arena. Patrik Elias scored twice and Turner Stevenson notched a goal and two assists to pace the Devils to the win.

Grant Marshall, Sergei Brylin and John Madden scored second-period goals to put the Devils in front for good, as New Jersey won for just the third time in eight games (3-4-0-1).

Jan Hrdina and Scott Niedermayer each had two assists for New Jersey. It marked the first two points for Hrdina since he was acquired from Phoenix in a trade last week.

The Devils are 7-0-2 in their last nine meetings against Chicago. New Jersey is 5-0-1 in its last six home contests against the Blackhawks.

New Jersey has tallied at least a point in each of its last three road tilts (2-0-0-1). For the year, the Devils are 17-9-7-1 in foreign buildings.

Philadelphia has won the last two meetings between these teams to even the season series at 2-2-1. The Flyers posted a 3-1 win over the Devils at Continental Airlines Arena on Tuesday. Philly is 3-2-2 in the last seven meetings, but the Devils are 6-3-2 in the last 11 contests overall. New Jersey is 3-1-1 in its last five trips to City of Brotherly Love.

03/13 16:00:53 ET

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