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Devils host Blackhawks aiming for 3rd straight win

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils will try for a third straight victory when they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks for Friday's clash at Prudential Center.

The Devils are coming off consecutive 2-1 regulations wins, posting a road win over the New York Islanders on Saturday before returning to the Garden State for Tuesday's decision over the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

Another victory tonight against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks will give New Jersey just its second three-game winning streak of the season. The Devils previously won three in a row from Nov. 16-21 with consecutive wins against the Penguins, Los Angeles and San Jose.

A win may be difficult to come by for New Jersey on Friday, however, as the Blackhawks have won four of the last six meetings in this series and recently notched a 5-2 home win versus the Devils on Dec. 23. Patrick Sharp had two goals for Chicago in that lopsided victory, while New Jersey goaltender Cory Schneider was tagged for five goals on 37 shots.

Still, New Jersey, which is 8-5-5 as the host this season, has taken eight of its last nine home games in this series and goaltender Martin Brodeur -- this evening's scheduled starter for the Devils -- is 9-3-2 with four ties and a stingy 1.96 goals against average in 20 career games against Chicago.

Brodeur started New Jersey's latest game and made 19 saves to help the Devils earn the close win over Pittsburgh on New Year's Eve. Adam Henrique and Michael Ryder both scored and picked up an assist on the other's goal to help Jersey edge the Penguins, 2-1.

The Devils improved to 13-3-0 against the Pens at Prudential Center since the start of the 2008-09 season.

"We know that we can play with any team, we just have to bring it to the rink every night," said Henrique.

Devils forward Patrik Elias is questionable for Friday's game with what head coach Peter DeBoer called "total body soreness." He was injured after getting sent into the boards by Pittsburgh's Tanner Glass on Tuesday. Defenseman Anton Volchenkov has missed the last two games with the same issue and he is also questionable for tonight.

The Blackhawks, who lead the NHL with 64 points, have lost two of their last three games and are coming off Thursday's overtime setback against the New York Islanders. Kyle Okposo's goal 58 seconds into the extra session lifted the Islanders to a 3-2 victory in front of the home crowd at Nassau Coliseum.

Despite losing, Chicago fought back from a 2-0 deficit to gain a point on goals from Brent Seabrook and Ben Smith. Corey Crawford, returning from a 10- game absence caused by a groin injury, recorded 31 saves in the loss.

"The positive out of the game was Corey's play," Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville remarked. "I thought he got us a point and made some real key stops late in the game."

Chicago fell to 13-5-3 as the road team this season. The Blackhawks have lost two straight and three of their last four away from the Windy City.

Antti Raanta expects to get the start in net tonight for Chicago. Raanta beat the Devils back on Dec. 23, stopping 10-of-12 shots in his first career start against New Jersey.

01/03 10:40:49 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/16 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus 4/16 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, FS-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/16 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
9th
NYY 3
CHC 0
 
8th
MIL 5
STL 1
 
1st
ARI 0
NYM 0
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
8:10pm Tonight
MIN 0
TOR 0
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR