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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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  • ACC: NC State at UNC

    Tomorrow at 12:58 pm on WRAL-TV

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  • CFB: NC State at UNC

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
1st
NCSU 8
BSU 9
 
1st
PIT 0
CAR 0
 
1st
CHA 10
GSW 14
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
1st
CHA 10
GSW 14
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
DAL
7:30pm Tonight
DET
MIL
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
NOP
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
LAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
NYK
8:00pm Tonight
IND
ORL
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
PHO
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
 
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
 
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
8:00pm Tonight
VT
UVA
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 56
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
 
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
 
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
 
2nd
FSU 34
CSOU 22
 
2nd
VALPO 50
DRAK 29
 
2nd
CIN 53
MTST 31
 
2nd
SDU 51
PRIN 44
 
Half
WASU 39
RICE 33
 
Half
CSFU 36
USCU 33
 
1st
GT 25
RIDE 26
 
1st
TXPA 21
ALAST 25
 
1st
NCSU 8
BSU 9
 
1st
TCU 7
BRAD 4
 
1st
WAKE 19
DELST 15
 
1st
HART 17
EMERSON 7
 
1st
STJ 9
GONZ 10
 
1st
CLEM 11
HIGH 5
 
1st
SYR 6
HC 6
 
1st
MD 19
MON 10
 
1st
JVST 18
SAV 14
 
1st
MIAMI 23
SALA 4
 
1st
RUTG 15
VANDY 15
 
7:30pm Tonight
PETE
TENST
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
CLST
8:00pm Tonight
JST
HOF
 
8:00pm Tonight
INDST
MEM
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
SAMF
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
TENNM
8:30pm Tonight
MISS
CREI
8:30pm Tonight
PORT
MURST
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
MSU
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UNT
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
STET
 
9:00pm Tonight
IND
UNCG
9:00pm Tonight
SJST
WMICH
9:05pm Tonight
MNTST
TXARL
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
3rd
WAS 4
NYI 2
 
1st
PIT 0
CAR 0
 
1st
NJD 1
DET 1
 
1st
BUF 1
MON 0
 
1st
CLB 0
VAN 0
 
1st
BOS 0
WIN 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
OTT
8:00pm Tonight
STL
EDM
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MIN