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Game Day: Preds vs. Devils

by Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(41-16-7) Nashville Predators vs. New Jersey Devils (26-27-10)
  6 P.M. | Prudential Center
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game

Just 24 hours after falling 4-1 to the New York Rangers, the Nashville Predators are headed across the Hudson River to face the New Jersey Devils in Newark this evening. It's the second and final matchup between the two this season, with the Preds emerging with a 3-1 victory over the Devils on Valentine's Day.

With last night's defeat to the Rangers, Nashville has now lost three-consecutive games for the first time this season.

Tuesday’s game against the Devils will be the Preds’ 20th game in the 36 days since the All-Star Break (Jan. 27-March 3). The 20 games in 36 days ties the Preds with the Panthers as the busiest NHL teams in that span. Two teams, the Islanders and Capitals, sit right behind with 19 games played while Boston has played the least number of games (14). Nashville’s record in their last 19 games is 11-6-2.

The Preds take to the ice in Newark for the second night of their ninth back-to-back series of the season and their fifth back-to-back series to consist of two road games (Nashville played the Rangers on Monday night). On the season, the Preds are 5-1-3 on the front end of these two-game sets and 3-3-2 on the back end.

Forward Matt Cullen scored Nashville’s goal on Monday in New York, stretching his current point streak to four games (2g-4a) and his goal streak to two. The four-game streak bests Cullen’s three-game streak he set in his first three games played this season (Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 3a) and the two-game goal streak is his first of the season. Cullen has seven points (2g-5a) in his last seven games. The Virginia, Minnesota native, who became the oldest player to play for the Preds in franchise history earlier this season (currently 39 years, 4 months), is slated to play in his 1,200th career NHL game on Tuesday night in New Jersey. 

Mike Ribeiro recorded his team-leading 40th assist of the season on Saturday afternoon against the Red Wings, a mark that ties him for sixth overall in the League. The Montreal native is three assists from tying Cliff Ronning’s 43-assist 2000-01 season for second-most assists by a Preds center in a season in franchise history, and four helpers from tying Jason Arnott’s 44-assist 2007-08 season for the top spot.

Filip Forsberg is tied for the team lead in points (21g-31a-52pts). Among rookies, Forsberg maintains the top spot in assists (31), points (51), power-play goals (5), power-play assists (12), power-play points (17) and shots on goal (197).

Colin Wilson has 19 points (9g-10a) in his last 26 games and his +22 is tied for ninth in the League. Wilson is one goal shy of hitting the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career and is just one assist away from his 100th career helper.

The Devils traded then-leading scorer Jaromir Jagr to Florida last week, leaving Mike Cammalleri as the leading point-getter in New Jersey. Cammalleri's 23 goals and 33 points pace the Devils, with Adam Henrique just one point behind at 32. Cammalleri and Henrique are the only two New Jersey skaters with over 30 points on the season and their 23 and 12 goals, respectively, are also first and second on the team.

Cory Schneider, who faced the Preds back in February, is 23-23-6 on the season for the Devils with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. New Jersey sent one of the men who played in front of Schneider, defenseman Marek Zidlicky, to Detroit prior to yesterday's NHL Trade Deadline in exchange for a draft pick.

This is Nashville’s 10th visit to New Jersey in franchise history and just the second visit since Dec. 17, 2010. Dating back to Feb. 29, 2000, the Preds and Devils have played 17 times, with 13 of those games decided by one goal. Additionally, five of 10 games since the start of the 2005-06 campaign have needed a shootout or overtime to determine the winner. Nashville is 9-8-(0)-3 against New Jersey all-time, and 5-3-(0)-1 in the Garden State.
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