NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 20th
(All times eastern)
Minnesota Wild (33-29-8) at New Jersey Devils (46-21-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Martin Brodeur will be back between the pipes for the New
Jersey Devils when they try to rebound from a loss in tonight's home test
against the Minnesota Wild.
Brodeur was given a rare rest on Wednesday -- just one night after the
legendary goaltender set the NHL's all-time record for victories -- and the
Devils had a four-game winning streak halted at Carolina.
Kevin Weekes spelled Brodeur on Wednesday and stopped 28-of-32 shots in a 4-2
loss to the Hurricanes. Brodeur had defeated Chicago in New Jersey on Tuesday
to earn the 552nd win of his career and pass Patrick Roy for the record.
Zach Parise and Brian Gionta tallied for the Devils, who lost for just the
second time in 10 games.
The Devils come into tonight's contest with an 11-point lead over Pittsburgh
and Philadelphia for first place in the Atlantic Division. With 95 points,
Jersey is also just five points behind Boston for the Eastern Conference's top
New Jersey has won a club-record 10 straight games on home ice and is 25-10-1
as the host this season. Following tonight's test the Devils will head back
out on the road, as they are scheduled to begin a three-game trip Sunday in
Meanwhile, the Wild are fighting for their playoff lives and are currently
just outside the Western Conference postseason picture. Minnesota has 74
points on the year and is just three behind Edmonton and Nashville, who are
occupying the conference's final two playoff berths.
The Wild ended a four-game losing streak with Tuesday's close victory over
Colorado, but despite that recent slide have recorded at least a point in five
of their last six contests (2-1-3).
Minnesota recorded a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche as Nick Schultz tied the
game late in the third period and Marek Zidlicky netted the deciding goal in
the shootout, leading the Wild to the win at Xcel Energy Center.
Stephane Veilleux also scored in regulation for the Wild, while Niklas
Backstrom stopped 24 shots for the win.
Minnesota is just 14-18-2 as the visiting team this season and has lost three
straight, four of five and seven of its last nine road tests. The Wild will
return home for Sunday's game against Edmonton, but will then head back out on
a four-game road trip.
New Jersey is 5-1 with two ties in the eight all-time meetings against the
Wild. Minnesota has never won in New Jersey, going 0-3 with a tie in the
03/20 10:43:35 ET