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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 27th (All times Eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (35-26-12) at New Jersey Devils (31-28-13), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes will try to win a second straight game without their No. 1 goaltender when they visit the New Jersey Devils for Thursday's inter-conference battle at Prudential Center.

The Coyotes lost workhorse Mike Smith to a lower-body injury in Monday's 4-3 overtime loss against the New York Rangers, but backup Thomas Greiss was able to anchor the team's 3-2 win in Pittsburgh the following night.

Although the severity of Smith's injury is still unknown, the club is describing his status as day-to-day. An update is expected after the Coyotes get back to Phoenix on Friday and Smith is checked by team doctors.

The injury to the starting goaltender comes at a bad time for Phoenix, which is holding onto the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. With 82 points, the Coyotes are three ahead of Dallas for the second of the West's two wild card spots. The Stars, who hold a game in hand over Phoenix, are idle on Thursday.

Smith left Monday's road tilt late in the third period with his club holding a 3-2 lead before New York scored twice on nine shots against Greiss.

However, Greiss came back a day later to record a 23-save victory against the Penguins. After yielding goals to Jussi Jokinen and Taylor Pyatt on 10 shots in the first period, the 28-year-old netminder stopped all 15 shots he faced the rest of the way.

"(Greiss) was phenomenal," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said of his netminder. "He kept the game calm. We're fortunate to have him coming in to back up another really good goalie."

Mikkel Boedker netted the deciding score late in the second period for Phoenix. David Moss and Antoine Vermette tallied in the first period and Doan added two assists for the Coyotes, who halted a two-game skid and won for the sixth time in their last nine outings.

Mark Visentin was recalled from the Portland Pirates of the AHL to serve as Greiss' backup in Smith's absence.

Phoenix is capping a three-game road trip tonight and is 14-14-9 as the visiting club this season.

The Devils enter Thursday having won two of their last three games, but Peter DeBoer's team faces an uphill battle to make the playoffs.

The East currently has four teams with 80 points -- Columbus, Detroit, Toronto and Washington -- fighting over two wild card spots. New Jersey is five points behind that group with 10 games remaining on its regular-season schedule.

New Jersey was able to beat one of the teams above it in the playoff scramble, posting a 3-2 regulation win over the visiting Maple Leafs on Sunday. The Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the early stages of the second period before holding on for the important victory.

Patrik Elias, Jon Merrill and Damien Brunner each scored for the Devils, while Cory Schneider earned the win with 21 saves.

"You knew they'd get a push back and get their chances, but we hung on there," Schneider said.

New Jersey halted a six-game slide in the series with Toronto, beating the Maple Leafs for the first time since Feb. 21, 2012.

The Devils, who are 18-10-7 as the host this season, have won two straight and seven of their last nine home games against Phoenix, but the Coyotes have held the upper hand in the overall series. New Jersey dropped a 3-2 regulation decision in the desert on Jan. 18, giving the Coyotes wins in two straight, three of four and six of the last eight meetings.

03/27 10:54:09 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13