Special Event:
NHL Extras
More NHL
NHL Odds
More Hockey
NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, February 18th (All times eastern)

New York Rangers (31-24-4) at New Jersey Devils (23-30-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL for over a month and they will aim for a sixth straight victory when they host the rival New York Rangers tonight at Prudential Center.

The Devils set a season-high with a fifth straight win on Wednesday, as they edged the visiting Carolina Hurricanes in regulation. New Jersey has gained a point in 14 of its last 15 games and has a spectacular 13-1-2 record during that stretch.

Jacques Lemaire's club is also moving closer to a potential playoff spot, something that seemed like an impossibility just several weeks ago. But, with 50 points, the Devils are just 12 points behind Carolina for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

Brian Rolston and Patrik Elias scored 85 seconds apart early in the third period to lift the red-hot Devils to the recent 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes.

Johan Hedberg made 25 saves to earn the win. Hedberg has started the last four games in net for New Jersey, while No. 1 netminder Martin Brodeur has dealt with a sprained right knee.

"It was another solid game for the whole team," Hedberg said. "We got to keep it going."

Brodeur practiced with the team on Thursday for the first time since injuring his knee on Feb. 6 in Montreal. Mike McKenna was the backup to Hedberg on Wednesday and will likely serve in that role until Brodeur is ready too return.

The 37-year-old Brodeur is considered day-to-day and could be back in goal as early as tomorrow's game in Carolina.

The Devils will get defenseman Anton Volchenkov back tonight now that he has served a three-game suspension for elbowing Carolina's Zach Boychuk in the head on Feb. 8.

New Jersey has won three straight on home ice and is 13-13-3 as the host this season. The Devils are completing a three-game homestand tonight and will begin a four-game road trip with Sunday's contest in Columbus.

The Rangers, who are currently running seventh in the East playoff race with 66 points, picked up a shootout victory Thursday night against visiting Los Angeles. Mats Zuccarello netted the deciding goal to lift the Blueshirts to the 4-3 decision at Madison Square Garden.

Zuccarello began the second round with a wrister past Jonathan Bernier to give New York its second score in as many tries. Jarret Stoll then tallied to keep the Kings alive, and though Bernier poke-checked away Wojtek Wolski's chance to start the third round, Henrik Lundqvist knocked down Anze Kopitar's shot to end the game.

Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan tallied in regulation for the Rangers, who have won two in a row after losing six straight.

Lundqvist earned his 200th career victory by stopping 25 shots.

"It's a great feeling to reach that. It's a milestone for me. I'm happy I've been able to be here for almost six years now. I just hope I get the opportunity to stay here and get another 200," Lundqvist said of his achievement.

New York has a solid 17-12-1 record as the guest this season, but the club has dropped its last three road tilts. The Rangers' last road victory was on Jan. 24 in Washington.

The Rangers had won the first three games of the season series against New Jersey, but the Devils recorded a 3-2 regulation victory when the clubs met in New York on Feb. 3. That win ended a four-game losing streak in the series for the Devils, who have lost three in a row and four of their last five home tilts against the Blueshirts.

02/18 10:33:35 ET


NHL News
· Marleau's OT winner has Sharks on brink of sweep

· National Hockey League Playoff Game Capsules

· Rask shuts out Red Wings in Game 3; Bruins take 2-1 lead

More News