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Pens go for two in a row; Devils go for eight straight

by Adam Schwartz
Sidney Crosby and the Penguins go for their second straight win and try to snap the Devils' seven-game winning streak tonight at the Prudential Center on "Mike 'Doc" Emrick Night," one of five games in the NHL on Friday night.

In addition to the Pittsburgh-New Jersey game, the Senators go for their third win in four games when they face the Blue Jackets; the Flyers travel to Tampa Bay; the Northwest Division-leading Flames host the Predators; and the Wild clash with the Oilers.

Here's what to keep an eye on:

* Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, who leads the team with 69 missed shots, is tied for the team lead with 19 goals. Malkin has 16 assists and 25 points in 20 career games against the Devils, including 5 assists in four games this season.

* New Jersey captain Jamie Langenbrunner, who plays with Zach Parise and Travis Zajac, has 5 goals and 12 points in his last nine games, including game-winning goals in the last two games. Langenbrunner, who had 13 goals and 41 points in 64 games last season, has 12 goals and 39 points in 48 games this season, putting him on pace for 20 goals and a career-high 65 points.

* Ottawa goalie Brian Elliot, whose girlfriend is in the Middle East with the United States Air Force, has earned the Senators a point in five of his six starts and has yielded more than two goals just twice during that span. Elliot, who was drafted No. 291 in the 2003 Entry Draft, has won both of his road starts.

* Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore, who had 11 assists and 14 points in 67 games with the Hurricanes and the Senators last season, has 17 assists and 21 points -- eight shy of his career-high --- in 48 games this season. Commodore, who is second on the team with a plus-13 rating, leads the team and is fourth in the Central Division with 117 hits.

* Philadelphia right wing Joffrey Lupul, who is one of six Flyers with at least 15 goals, averages just 15:45 of ice time. Lupul, whose favorite kind of food is sushi, has 7 assists and 10 points in nine career games against the Lightning, including a goal and 2 assists in three games this season.

* Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis, who has 5 assists and 7 points in his last six games, leads the team with 30 assists, 48 points and a plus-9 rating. St. Louis, who wears No. 26 because he idolized Canadien Mats Naslund growing up, has 4 assists and 5 points in four Friday games.

* Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter, whose father Bob was a member of the 1980 U.S. gold medal-winning Olympic hockey team, is second on the team with 22 assists. Suter, who leads the team with an average of 23:41 of ice time per game, has a plus-17 rating in Predators wins, but a minus-21 rating in Nashville losses.

* Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who had 17 goals and a plus-12 last season, has just 5 goals and a minus-7 rating in 47 games this season. Phaneuf, who has a plus-14 rating in Calgary's 29 wins, has a minus-21 rating in their 18 losses.

* Minnesota right wing Antti Miettinen, who is second on the team with 22 assists, had 2 assists Tuesday in the Wild's 6-1 victory against the Maple Leafs. Miettinen, who signed a three-year contract as a free agent last summer, is 2 points shy of his career-high.

* The Wild, who don't have a player with 14 goals, are in second place in the Northwest Division with 51 points.

* Edmonton center Shawn Horcoff, who won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2003 and 2004 World Championships, leads the Northwest Division and is third in the League with 542 faceoff wins. Horcoff, who is one of five players to have taken 1,000 faceoffs this season, has a plus-6 rating in his last six games.

* The Oilers, who have the fewest hits in the League at 729, have allowed the most second-period goals in the Western Conference and the second-most in the League with 62. Edmonton, which is in a five-way tie for seventh place in the conference with 51 points, is tied with the second-most road wins in the conference with 13.

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