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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 16th (All times Eastern)

New Jersey Devils (20-18-10) at Colorado Avalanche (29-12-5), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils will try to extend a five-game point streak on Thursday night when they resume their road trip against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Devils have won three of their past four games and are 3-0-2 in their last five. They began a four-game swing on Sunday with a shootout loss in Toronto, then bounced back on Tuesday night with a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

New Jersey scored four straight after Montreal tallied seven minutes into the game. One of those came late in the first period from Jaromir Jagr, who passed Mark Messier for seventh place on the NHL's all-time goals list with his 695th career tally.

Jagr, who scored for the first time since Dec. 21, moved past Messier three days after passing his former teammate Mario Lemieux for seventh place on the all-time points list with an assist against Florida.

The 41-year-old forward said such things aren't on his mind.

"I'm not thinking about history or Messier's goals," he said. "I'm not retiring yet, I'm not counting games yet. I'm trying to have fun. I have good teammates around me. They make me look good."

He paused, and laughed: "Or bad.

Eric Gelinas, Adam Henrique and Dainius Zubrus all added goals and the Montreal-born Martin Brodeur made 29 saves. He was named the game's first star and received a standing ovation from the Bell Centre crowd as it may have marked the 41-year-old's final game in Montreal.

"I didn't expect the fans to respond to being the first star, but there's history here for me so it's something nice as well," said Brodeur. "We picked everything up after their goal. We played well in the second period and had some big goals early in that period."

It is expected that Cory Schneider will be in net tonight for the Devils for his 23rd start of the season. He is 6-1-1 with a 1.61 GAA in his career versus the Avs.

Colorado will try to make it three victories in a row tonight following road wins over Minnesota and Chicago. The Avalanche, despite a rash of injuries, bested the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday.

Tyson Barrie scored two goals, including the winner with 50.7 seconds left in overtime. His goal came on the power play and on a one-timer from the left circle off a feed by Matt Duchene.

"We were fortunate to get a power play there and it was nice to capitalize on that and get the two points," Barrie said.

Semyon Varlamov stole the two points for undermanned Colorado with a sublime 46-save performance, giving the Avs a 6-1-1 record in their last eight.

Colorado came into the game without forward Paul Stastny (leg) and backup netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere (back spasms) and had to scratch defenseman Cory Sarich late due to a back injury. The Avalanche then lost blueliner Erik Johnson during the game with his own back ailment and all four are questionable for tonight.

But Varlamov stood steady and has not lost in regulation since Dec. 10, going 9-0-5 in 14 starts since. He is 1-1-0 with a 2.02 GAA in two career games versus the Devils.

The Avalanche have won three of their last four versus the Devils and are 4-1-0 with a tie in the previous six meetings at home.

01/16 10:54:14 ET

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