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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 22nd (All times Eastern)

New York Rangers (38-29-4) at New Jersey Devils (30-27-13), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils will try to make up some ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race on Saturday when they host the rival New York Rangers at Prudential Center.

New Jersey enters this game five points behind Columbus for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and seven points in back of the Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division. The top three teams in each division earn automatic bids to the postseason.

Saturday's contest marks the fifth and final regular-season meeting between the Devils and Rangers. New Jersey won the first three encounters before the Blueshirts posted a 7-3 rout on Jan. 26 in an outdoor game at Yankee Stadium. The Devils led that game in the Bronx by a 3-1 score before New York scored six unanswered goals.

The Devils were the designated home team in the outdoor battle but the Rangers have not fared well in Newark of late, losing four of the past five games staged at the Prudential Center. New York has claimed five of nine overall in the series.

New Jersey had lost three straight in regulation before coming through with an overtime win Thursday against visiting Minnesota. It was the second test of a crucial five-game homestand for the Devils, who improved to 17-9-7 as the host this season.

Andy Greene's goal two minutes into overtime lifted the Devils to the much- needed victory over the Wild and spoiled Zach Parise's return to the Prudential Center in the process.

Patrik Elias and Adam Henrique assisted on Greene's game-winner -- the third helper of the night for both -- while Jaromir Jagr, Michael Ryder and Mark Fayne all scored to support a 20-save effort from Devils goaltender Cory Schneider.

Parise, who captained the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals and spent his first seven NHL seasons with New Jersey, potted one of three Minnesota goals in the third period as the Wild overcame a 2-0 deficit to notch a point.

The Devils will go with Martin Brodeur in net on Saturday. Brodeur surrendered six goals in two periods against the Rangers in the rout at Yankee Stadium, but seems confident he can help Jersey put that game in the past when the clubs reconvene indoors.

"When we play in a regular environment, we do well," Brodeur said on Friday. "We're like indoor cats."

The Rangers have won two straight and three of their last four games and are coming off an important win Friday night in Columbus. New York scored three times in the third period of the win over the Blue Jackets, who saw former Columbus star Rick Nash return to Nationwide Arena for the first time.

There was much hype surrounding Nash's first game as a visitor at Nationwide Arena, but the contest also had playoff implications.

With the win, the Rangers moved into third place in the Metropolitan Division, two points ahead of Columbus and one behind second-place Philadelphia. The Blue Jackets, however, have played one fewer game and the Flyers, who host St. Louis on Saturday, hold two games in hand over the Rangers. Columbus is idle on Saturday before visiting the New York Islanders on Sunday.

Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves for New York, which will try to complete a perfect three-game road trip on Saturday. The Blueshirts are 22-13-0 as the guest this season compared to a 16-16-4 mark at Madison Square Garden.

Already showered with boos, Nash, who was selected first overall by Columbus in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and dealt to the Rangers in July 2012, stoked the fans' ire even more late in the second period.

The former face of the Blue Jackets drove hard to the crease and the puck went into the net after a collision with Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky at 17:06. The referee immediately waved off the goal, ruling Nash made incidental contact with the Columbus goalie.

Nash then got to his feet and incited a melee by punching Bobrovsky.

Seeking retribution for him going after Bobrovsky, Matt Calvert engaged in fisticuffs with Nash at the start of the third period.

"I wouldn't have expected to push a goalie to start a fight and have a fight myself. I didn't expect that," Nash said when asked about how he thought the game might unfold.

After this evening's battle in the Garden State, the Rangers will return home for two straight at MSG. The homestand begins Tuesday against Phoenix before the Flyers visit Manhattan for a Metro Division showdown on Thursday.

03/22 10:48:30 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
WAS 0
Final
BOS 106
CHA 98
12:00pm Today
UCF
ECU
 
12:00pm Today
BC
NCSU
 
2:00pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
 
4:00pm Today
NCCU
COOK
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
DUKE
SYR
 
Final
IND 93
CLE 86
Final
PHI 89
WAS 81
Final
BOS 106
CHA 98
Final
TOR 89
GSW 113
Final
DET 115
NYK 121
Final
ATL 95
ORL 88
Final
HOU 102
BRK 98
Final
MEM 79
LAC 97
Final
NOP 104
MIA 102
Final
CHI 96
MIN 89
Final
DEN 82
UTA 104
4th
SAC 92
SAN 102
 
4th
LAL 65
MIL 75
 
3rd
POR 71
OKC 79
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
DET
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
ATL
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MEM
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
BRK
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
MIL
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
SAN
 
Final
QUIN 73
SIENA 63
 
Final
CORN 57
HARV 49
 
Final
CAN 72
FAIR 65
 
Final
IONA 79
MAN 75
 
Final
BRO 75
PENN 69
 
Final
YALE 81
PRIN 60
 
Final
MAR 69
PETE 67
 
Final
CLMB 71
DART 84
 
Final
AKR 70
OHIO 58
 
Final
CLST 53
VALPO 56
 
11:00am Today
LIP
KNST
 
11:00am Today
GHND
NAVY
 
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LAF
ARMY
 
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AMER
BUCK
 
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UCF
ECU
 
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STJ
GEOR
 
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CLEM
GT
 
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COL
LEH
 
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FSU
LOU
 
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MD
MICH
 
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UGA
MIZZ
 
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BC
NCSU
 
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LAS
RIU
 
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UNH
MAINE
 
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IUPUI
NEOM
 
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WINT
PBY
 
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VMI
SAMF
 
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CITA
WCU
 
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DEP
BUT
 
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LONG
CAMP
 
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TULA
CIN
 
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VCU
DAY
 
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TOWS
DEL
 
2:00pm Today
WMARY
DREX
 
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JVU
FLGC
 
2:00pm Today
EVAN
ILLST
 
2:00pm Today
BRAD
INDST
 
2:00pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
 
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WICHS
NIOWA
 
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UWGB
OU
 
2:00pm Today
LSU
MISS
 
2:00pm Today
OKLA
TCU
 
2:00pm Today
BING
UMBC
 
2:00pm Today
AFA
UTST
 
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GTDNS
VERM
 
2:00pm Today
XAV
VILL
 
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MNTER
WAGN
 
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ILLCH
WRST
 
2:30pm Today
YALE
SARAHLAW
 
3:00pm Today
UAB
MTST
 
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NDAK
SUTAH
 
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LIB
UNCA
 
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CHIST
WLVRN
 
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UMO
BGU
 
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SHU
LIU
 
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APP
LAMON
 
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VANDY
ALA
 
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KENT
ARK
 
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NCCU
COOK
 
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MRGST
COPST
 
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SHU
CREI
 
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BONA
DUQ
 
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MERC
ETST
 
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UMASS
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RAD
GWEBB
 
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JMU
HOF
 
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HC
 
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MDES
 
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MIZST
 
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IDAHO
MNTST
 
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NICST
 
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TTU
OKST
 
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PORT
SDU
 
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Terriers
 
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RMU
RFLSH
 
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UVA
VT
 
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BAY
WVU
 
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FUR
WOFF
 
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SILL
DRAK
 
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FD
CCST
 
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WMICH
EMICH
 
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CSOU
HIGH
 
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UNCG
CHAT
 
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SD
SDKST
 
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CARK
SELA
 
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KU
TEX
 
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EWASH
MONT
 
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TROY
UGST
 
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TXST
ARKST
 
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UNT
ODU
 
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CORN
DART
 
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NCAT
FAM
 
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PSU
IOWA
 
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MORE
JVST
 
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LMU
 
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MSST
 
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PRIN
 
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SJST
 
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TENST
 
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TENN
 
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TXSOU
 
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MVSU
 
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PEAY
 
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BST
 
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BUF
 
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GWU
 
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HOW
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HARV
 
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INCWORD
 
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UWMIL
 
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UNCW
 
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NW
 
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PENN
 
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ALAAM
PVU
 
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RICH
 
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UNF
STET
 
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HART
USB
 
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DUKE
SYR
 
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EKENT
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LATU
TXSA
 
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NKENTUCKY
USCU
 
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MAST
WILL
 
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UMKC
GRCN
 
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NO
ABCHRIST
 
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SDST
BSU
 
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NILL
CMICH
 
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RICE
CHAR
 
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ORU
DEN
 
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WKENT
FIU
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA
NMST
 
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COC
NE
 
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TAMCC
SHSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SCU
GAELS
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOUB
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
UTEP
 
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MEM
TULSA
 
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UNLV
WYO
 
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TXARL
ARKLR
 
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LALAF
GSOUT
 
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TEXAM
AUB
 
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ARKPB
GRAM
 
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UTAH
ARZ
 
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NCOL
NARZ
 
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GONZ
BYU
 
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WEBER
IDST
 
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FRES
NMU
 
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PAC
 
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CPSL
UCD
 
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PORST
SACST
 
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SEAT
CALST
 
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CSNO
UCR
 
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USC
WASH
 
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
UCI
 
Final
NJD 2
BOS 3
Final
NYI 2
CAL 1
Final
CAR 3
WAS 0
Final
TAM 4
CHI 0
Final
DAL 4
COL 5
3rd
ANA 2
LOS 2
 
3:00pm Today
FLA
BUF
 
3:00pm Today
NAS
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
 
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CLB
NJD
 
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ARI
 
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MON
TOR
 
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PHI
NYR
 
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COL
MIN
 
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SJS
OTT
 
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EDM
STL