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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
CAR 2
STL 3
Final
PHI 103
MIN 94
Final
BOS 87
HOU 93
Final
ATL 105
POR 99
Final
CLE 101
SAC 90
Final
BRK 122
TOR 127
Final
MIA 72
DAL 93
Final
NOP 108
LAC 103
4th
UTA 108
GSW 100
 
2nd
PHO 38
CHI 25
 
Final
PRIN 72
HARV 75
 
Final
CORN 57
BRO 49
 
Final
PENN 58
DART 51
 
Final
NIAG 61
MAR 65
 
Final
CAN 63
QUIN 57
 
Final
MAN 87
SIENA 79
 
Final
WILL 63
IUPUI 59
 
Final
FAIR 59
MON 60
 
Final
ARST 67
OREG 68
Final
CLMB 59
YALE 63
 
2nd
BUF 53
KSU 26
 
2nd
ARZ 24
ORST 17
 
Final
NJD 1
PIT 2
Final
CAR 2
STL 3
3rd
COL 2
NAS 0
 
2nd
ANA 0
CHI 1