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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 18th (All times Eastern)

New Jersey Devils (20-18-11) at Phoenix Coyotes (22-16-9), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - While they weren't able to solve their recent offensive issues, Mike Smith's first shutout allowed the Phoenix Coyotes to snap a four- game losing streak.

The Coyotes will now try to win consecutive games for the first time in over a month as they play host on Saturday night to the New Jersey Devils.

Phoenix was held to just a single goal for the fourth time in five games on Thursday, but that was enough thanks to Smith's 28-save effort in a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

It was a much-needed effort for Smith, an Olympic selection for Team Canada who had gone 0-5-2 in his previous seven decisions. The netminder won for the first time since Dec. 21 with his 25th career shutout.

"I just wanted to make some saves and give the team a chance to win. The shutout is just a bonus," said Smith. "The guys were tremendous tonight and everyone got a confidence boost from it."

That should include Antoine Vermette, who scored for the first time in 12 games. His 13th of the season came at the 12:51 mark of the first period and was his first goal since he logged a hat trick versus Ottawa on Dec. 21.

Phoenix's penalty kill had a large role in winning this game, keeping Vancouver off the board on all seven of its chances, including a high sticking double minor to Martin Hanzal with 4:05 to play in the third. Hanzal was fined $5,000 by the league for the infraction.

The Coyotes have not won back-to-back games since Dec. 10-12, but have won their last three at home versus the Devils.

Phoenix has claimed five of the last seven encounters overall, including a 5-3 decision in the most recent meeting on Oct. 27, 2011 at home.

The Devils, meanwhile, close out a four-game road trip tonight having gone 1-0-2 on the trip and 3-0-3 in their last six overall. That includes a pair of shootout losses and the Devils have lost all eight of their tiebreakers this season and 12 straight dating back to last season, an NHL record.

New Jersey got a third-period goal from Reid Boucher at the 8:59 mark to force overtime after having mustered just two shots in the second period. However, Cory Schneider yielded two goals in the shootout and both Patrik Elias and Adam Henrique failed on their chances.

"I didn't like anybody in the first two periods other than Schneider," said Devils head coach Peter DeBoer. "I liked everybody in the last 20 minutes."

Schneider ended with 37 saves while Elias played for the first time since Dec. 31, having missed seven straight with what the team termed total body soreness.

01/18 11:07:51 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ATL 117
CHA 114
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
SFG
Final
CLE 107
CHI 98
Final
WAS 84
NOP 88
Final
ATL 117
CHA 114
Final
NYK 107
MIL 120
Final
BRK 99
PHI 88
Final
DAL 108
MEM 103
Final
SAN 106
SAC 99
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
POR
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
LAL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
LALAF
ARKST
 
Final
EDM 3
TAM 2
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
SJS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
ARI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
CAR
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
VAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
FLA
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
TAM
 
Final
PIT 30
HOU 23