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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 24th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Devils (43-23-8) at Florida Panthers (31-30-13), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will attempt to halt a devastating three-game losing streak this evening when they head to Florida and the BankAtlantic Center to take on the Panthers.

New Jersey's losing ways continued on Thursday with a 3-1 setback to Tampa Bay. Consequently, the Devils have watched their lead over Pittsburgh for the top spot in the Atlantic Division dwindle to two points. The Penguins host Atlanta this afternoon.

Zach Parise tallied the lone goal for the Devils, while Martin Brodeur allowed three goals -- two in the third frame -- on 32 shots. Overall, New Jersey has lost seven of its last 10.

The Devils are battling through some injuries, as centers Erik Rasmussen (upper body) and John Madden (groin) and forward Patrik Elias (groin) are all questionable for the game. Forward Brian Gionta is already out indefinitely due to a groin injury.

New Jersey plays the third game of a five-game road swing that still includes tough visits to the New York Islanders and Buffalo. The Devils are 21-13-3 as the visitor this year.

Florida, 12th overall in the East and seven points out of a playoff spot, had a two-game winning streak ended on Thursday after a 4-2 loss to Ottawa. Jozef Stumpel and Olli Jokinen had a goal and a helper each for Florida.

Ed Belfour had a poor outing, allowing four goals on nine shots before being pulled. His replacement, Craig Anderson, stopped all 10 shots he faced.

The Panthers are 21-12-4 as the host this season.

New Jersey won its first two meetings with Florida this season before the Panthers posted a 4-2 home win over the Devils in January. New Jersey, though, has won eight of the last 10 in the series overall and nine of the last 11 in Florida.

03/24 11:17:20 ET


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