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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 31st (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (29-11-1) at New Jersey Devils (16-16-8), 1 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The first-place Pittsburgh Penguins will try to close their terrific month of December on a positive note when they visit the New Jersey Devils for Tuesday's afternoon battle at Prudential Center.

The Penguins are 11-2-0 this month and have won 14 of their last 16 games overall to open a huge lead atop the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh, which also leads the Eastern Conference with 59 points, is 14 points ahead of Washington for the division lead and five in front of Boston for the top spot in the East.

The Devils, meanwhile, are sitting in a tie with the New York Rangers for fourth place in the Metro with 40 points.

Today's tilt is the fourth and final regular-season encounter between the Devils and Pens this season. Pittsburgh has taken two of three encounters so far in the season series, but the Devils have claimed four of six meetings overall.

New Jersey also has dominated the Pens on home ice in recent years, taking three straight, seven of eight and 11 of the past 13 meetings in the Garden State. The Devils notched a 4-1 victory when they hosted Pittsburgh on Nov. 16, as former Penguins star Jaromir Jagr notched a pair of goals and Martin Brodeur stopped 27-of-28 shots for the win.

Pittsburgh, which is playing without a host of regulars, including top defenseman Kris Letang and star forward Evgeni Malkin, is 2-1-0 on a current four-game road trip. The Pens have won two straight after opening the swing with a 5-0 setback in Ottawa.

James Neal led the Pens to their most recent triumph, as he recorded the fourth hat trick of his career and also added two assists to help Pittsburgh down Columbus by a 5-3 score on Sunday.

Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz each registered a goal and two assists for the Penguins, while Jeff Zatkoff made 25 stops in the win.

"We generated enough chances and I'm glad we found the back of the net," said Crosby.

The victory improved Pittsburgh to 12-8-1 as the road team this season.

Malkin missed his seventh straight game due to a lower-body injury, but he is with the team on this road trip and is questionable for today.

New Jersey halted a two-game slide in its last outing, notching a 2-1 regulation win Saturday on Long Island. Travis Zajac scored the game winner with 6:57 remaining to lift the Devils to the close decision over the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

Adam Henrique scored New Jersey's other goal, while Cory Schneider stopped 30 shots for the Devils, who had lost three of their last four games before edging the Isles.

"We needed this as a group," Schneider said. "It's a big two points for us."

Brodeur expects to get the start in net for New Jersey today and the future Hall of Famer is 47-28-1 with four ties and a 2.47 goals against average in 83 career outings against the Pens.

Marc-Andre Fleury figures to get the call between the pipes for the Pens. He is 17-21-4 with a 2.50 GAA in 42 career starts versus the Devils.

12/31 10:54:22 ET

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Schedule

Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia «4Final | Box
NY Rangers2Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Detroit1Final | Box
Boston «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Tampa Bay13rd Prd | Box
Montreal2@theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS, Sun
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Los Angeles 4/20 10:00 PM ET
San Jose @theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-W
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
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
  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Toyota Owner's 400 from Richmond

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on FOX50

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Wednesday at 11:05 am on 620am

  • MLB: LA Angels at NY Yankees

    Saturday at 1:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
Final
NYM 4
ATL 3
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
MIL 3
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
Final
TAM 1
NYY 5
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
Final
CHC 2
CIN 8
Final
TEX 2
CWS 16
Final
OAK 4
HOU 1
Final
LOS 4
ARI 1
Final
COL 9
PHI 10
Final
SDP 3
SFG 4
6th
BOS 0
BAL 4
 
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
3rd
CHI 73
WAS 70
 
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
Final
BOS 4
DET 1
2nd
MON 2
TAM 1
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3