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Devils, Blue Jackets shoot for consecutive wins

by Mike G. Morreale /

DEVILS (1-4-3) at BLUE JACKETS (3-5-0)


Season series: In the only meeting between the teams two seasons ago, the New Jersey Devils scored a 2-1 shootout win at Prudential Center. Martin Brodeur made 36 saves in the victory. This is the first of four meetings in 2013-14. The teams will next face off Dec. 10 in Columbus.

Big story: Both teams recently snapped lengthy losing streaks and will look to continue their winning ways at Nationwide Arena. The Columbus Blue Jackets earned their first home win of the season on Sunday and snapped a four-game losing streak in the process with a 3-1 victory against the Vancouver Canucks. The Devils snapped a seven-game skid with their first win of the season on Saturday in a 4-0 win over the New York Rangers in Newark, N.J., behind Cory Schneider's 22 saves.

Team Scope:

Devils: Despite losing their first seven games of the season, New Jersey ranks fifth in the NHL with an 86.4 percent penalty killing efficiency. The team denied the Rangers on two attempts with the man advantage on Saturday, limiting the visitors to just two shots. Schneider's first shutout in a Devils jersey will earn him another start against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

"When we did have a breakdown [Schneider] made some saves for us," captain Bryce Salvador told The Newark Star-Ledger. "Our goaltending is our strength. When you have Marty [Brodeur] and Schneids back there it's a good feeling."

Blue Jackets: Goalie Curtis McElhinney, who was making his Columbus debut against the Canucks on Sunday, made 37 saves for his first NHL victory since Dec. 31, 2011. Marian Gaborik, RJ Umberger and Ryan Johansen provided McElhinney all the support he would need. The Blue Jackets received a boost to their lineup as well with the return of left wing Nick Foligno, who had missed the previous three games. Foligno spent the past week with his family at Nationwide Children's Hospital when it was learned his first child, Milana Maria, was diagnosed with a heart condition one day after her birth on Oct. 14.

"That was first and foremost on my mind," Foligno told The Columbus Dispatch. "The team was great about it and the guys were great about it. They understood that I needed to be home with her to figure out what the next step would be. The good news is that long-term it seems like she's going to be fine. We'll have to cross some tough roads in the sense of what we might need to do to get her better. But she can get better and she will get better."

Who's hot: Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky leads the team with seven points, all assists, while Andy Greene and Bryce Salvador have been averaging just over 23 minutes a game. … Marian Gaborik leads the Blue Jackets in goals (three), assists (five) and points (eight).

Injury report: Patrik Elias (illness) and Ryane Clowe (head) are out and Damien Brunner (upper body) is questionable for the Devils. … Columbus will be without forward Matt Calvert (abdomen).

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