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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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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 100
ORL 105
Half
DUKE 36
TEMPL 26
 
Final
CHA 100
ORL 105
Final
PHI 96
PHO 122
Final
ATL 99
DET 89
 
Final
TOR 124
MIL 83
 
Final
MEM 117
BOS 100
 
4th
OKC 92
BRK 94
 
Final
WAS 91
CLE 78
 
Final
MIN 92
SAN 121
 
4th
DAL 119
LAL 88
 
3rd
DEN 65
NOP 57
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
UTA
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
3rd
RICE 17
UTEP 6
 
2nd
SDST 13
AFA 7
 
2nd
UTST 7
SJST 0
 
Final
COC 50
TEXAM 59
Final
DREX 70
USC 72
Final
GWEBB 72
CLEM 70
Final
MIAMI 79
AKR 51
Final
UCONN 75
DAY 64
Final
NEV 60
SHU 68
Final
LONG 81
UNCG 79
Final
ARKPB 46
VALPO 59
 
Final
WVU 70
BC 66
Final
TOWS 58
CCST 49
 
Final
YALE 70
ILLCH 58
 
Final
IOWA 63
SYR 66
 
Final
HAMP 82
ALCOR 69
 
Final
ODU 70
LSU 61
Final
KENT 89
BU 65
 
Final
SCAR 63
CHAR 65
 
Final
UVA 59
GWU 42
Final
WCU 72
HIWASSEE 53
 
Final
GT 78
MAST 69
 
Final
RIDE 78
LEH 74
 
Final
MSU 87
LOYC 52
 
Final
CMICH 76
MAINE 48
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
MNTST 0
 
Final
BAY 60
PVU 45
 
Final
HOF 66
USB 65
 
Final
OREG 78
TOL 68
 
Final
UGA 82
TROY 60
 
Final
STAN 89
UNLV 60
 
Final
FAIR 36
WOFF 54
 
Final
EMICH 71
YOUNG 62
 
Final
MON 73
COOK 50
 
Final
FIU 74
FLMEM 48
 
Final
KSU 74
SILL 51
 
Final
CAL 55
TEX 71
 
Final
GMAS 58
NMU 69
 
Final
ILL 107
PEAY 66
 
Final
ARK 99
DELST 71
 
Final
MCNST 85
JCHR 70
 
Final
NDST 68
KNST 55
 
Final
OKST 82
UWMIL 68
 
Final
LATU 73
MORE 64
 
Final
SDKST 74
NDAK 72
 
Final
XAV 81
STEPH 63
 
Final
UF 61
LAMON 56
 
2nd
WAKE 69
IONA 76
 
2nd
GRCN 50
FAM 26
 
2nd
COLST 62
UGST 60
 
2nd
WASU 51
IDST 46
 
2nd
WEBER 34
ILLST 48
 
2nd
AUB 54
LALAF 46
 
2nd
LOU 43
MARS 31
 
2nd
ORST 30
ORU 25
 
2nd
SD 43
SHSU 38
 
2nd
UTAH 66
UCR 30
 
Half
DUKE 36
TEMPL 26
 
Half
CORN 37
PSU 28
 
1st
CPSL 23
DEL 16
 
1st
SEAT 11
WASH 8
 
10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
KYST
10:35pm Tonight
AMER
PBY
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
PITT
Final
CLB 3
BOS 4
 
Final
PIT 4
NYI 5
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
NYR 0
 
2nd
EDM 0
NJD 0