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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 14th (All times Eastern)

New Jersey Devils (29-24-13) at Florida Panthers (24-35-7), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Cory Schneider will try to rebound from his rough outing a week ago as he gets the call on Friday night for the New Jersey Devils against Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers.

Schneider has sat the past two games in favor of Martin Brodeur after getting tagged for seven goals on 32 shots in a 7-4 loss to the Detroit Red Wings last Friday. He still has solid stats on the season, posting a 2.07 goals against average and .918 save percentage in 35 games. However, a lack of support has caused him to record a mark of just 12-13-9.

Schneider is 2-0-0 with a 1.92 GAA in his career versus the Panthers and is likely to start opposite of Luongo, his former teammate in Vancouver. The duo split starts with the Canucks a season before Schneider was dealt to the Devils during the offseason.

That made Luongo the main starter again in Vancouver, but he began to lose time this season to Eddie Lack and was traded to the Florida Panthers last week.

Luongo did not start last night's 5-4 setback by Florida to the Tampa Bay Lightning, meaning he should get the nod tonight. He is 9-13-0 with a 2.74 GAA and three shutouts in his career versus the Devils.

New Jersey won both of Brodeur's starts this week, with the veteran improving to 17-11-4 with a 2.49 GAA and .901 save percentage on the season. He stopped 30 shots in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Philadelphia, marking Brodeur's 50th career win versus the Flyers.

Jaromir Jagr had the game-winning goal in the third period and Travis Zajac also scored for the Devils, who have own five of their past seven games and sit two points out of the conference's second wild card spot.

"I think that's a good word for it," said Devils head coach Peter DeBoer on his club's gritty win. "We knew we had to come out of here with one. We showed up, really battled and left everything on the ice. It wasn't a pretty game but we got the job done and [now we have to] keep moving forward here."

The Devils will try to match a season high tonight with their first three-game winning streak since Nov. 16-21. They have won five of their past seven versus the Panthers, including a 2-1 overtime triumph at home back on Jan. 11.

New Jersey has lost four of its past six in Florida.

The Panthers dropped their third game in a row on Thursday night, falling 5-4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Scottie Upshall and Brandon Pirri both scored in the game's final 1:05 of action, but the comeback bid fell short.

"We responded. I thought it was really good energy coming out," said Florida head coach Peter Horachek. "We didn't quit. We just kept pushing. We kept getting some great chances in the second period and we had some chances in the third period and their goalie played well."

Pirri added an assist, while Tomas Fleischmann also scored. Quinton Howden notched his first NHL goal and Dan Ellis made 23 saves in his Panthers debut. He was acquired last week from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Tim Thomas.

03/14 10:58:51 ET

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MON
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