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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 28th (All times eastern)

Philadelphia Flyers (39-28-10) at New Jersey Devils (42-28-7), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will aim for their fifth straight victory tonight, when they visit the sliding New Jersey Devils in an Atlantic Division battle at the Prudential Center.

This game features numerous storylines related to the Eastern Conference playoff race. New Jersey is currently tied for fifth in the East with the New York Rangers at 91 points apiece. The Devils currently hold the tiebreaker as a result of their higher win total and can move past the idle Rangers tonight.

New Jersey is also just one point behind idle Ottawa for the conference's fourth seed.

Philadelphia and Boston each have 88 points and are taking up the final two playoff seeds in the East. The Bruins, who are off tonight, hold the tiebreaker due to head-to-head matchups with the Flyers this year.

The Flyers can also put some space between themselves and Washington, which is two points behind and still fighting to get into the playoffs. The Capitals will not be in action tonight.

The Devils are 5-1 against the Flyers this year and have won five straight, seven of eight and 15 of the last 17 meetings between the clubs. Philadelphia has also dropped 11 straight in the Garden State, including its first three stops at the Prudential Center.

Still, the Flyers have won four in a row on the heels of a four-game losing streak and are coming off Tuesday's close win at Madison Square Garden. Mike Richards scored 2:16 into overtime as Philadelphia picked up two big points with a 2-1 road win over the rival Rangers.

In the extra session, Jason Smith picked off an errant pass in the Philadelphia end and sprung Richards on a breakaway. Richards skated into the New York end, and with Marek Malik all over him, he slid a backhander between the pads of Henrik Lundqvist for the win.

Danny Briere also added a goal and Martin Biron made 31 saves in the win. Briere has notched seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in his last four games and has reached the scoresheet in 11 of his last 12 games.

Tonight marks the second stop on a four-game road trip for the Flyers, who are 20-14-4 as the visiting team this year. Following the swing, Philadelphia will close their regular season with back-to-back home games.

The Devils, meanwhile, were handed their fifth loss in a row Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. Nigel Dawes notched the game-winning goal with 3:06 remaining in the third, as the Rangers rallied to down New Jersey, 3-2. It was New York's seventh straight win over the Devils.

Patrik Elias and Zach Parise scored for the Devils, while Martin Brodeur allowed three goals on 31 shots in defeat.

New Jersey's last six-game losing streak came from November 2-14, 2000.

The Devils are 22-14-2 as the host this year, but have dropped four of their last five home contests.

03/28 10:38:49 ET


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