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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 31st (All times Eastern)
Florida Panthers (27-40-8) at New Jersey Devils (31-28-15), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Getting a point is no longer enough for the New Jersey Devils.
The playoff-hopeful club hopes to avoid a third straight loss on Monday evening as it hosts the Florida Panthers.
The Devils have lost six of their past eight games, including two in a row in a shootout. They are 0-for-10 in shootouts this season and have lost an NHL- record 14 in a row in the tiebreaker dating back to last season.
New Jersey doesn't have much room for error as it is five points out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with eight games to play and a few other teams ahead of it.
Only scoring one shootout goal this season hasn't helped and the Devils failed to light the lamp in the tiebreaker in Saturday's 2-1 setback to the New York Islanders.
"I don't have an answer for the shootout," Devils head coach Peter DeBoer said. "From a coaching perspective, if your forecheck's not working or your D- zone coverage or your power play, you can break it down and make corrections. [The shootout] is a different animal. For whatever reason, we've got a block."
Frans Nielsen and Brock Nelson each scored in the first two rounds for the Islanders, while Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias failed on their attempts.
Henrique scored in regulation and Cory Schneider made 19 saves in defeat.
"We've got to move forward and find a way to get a win," DeBoer said. "It does no good sitting, wallowing in what happened here tonight. We get ready for a big game on Monday night."
The Devils will look to rebound against the Panthers, who have lost nine of their past 12 and are coming off Saturday's 4-1 setback to the Montreal Canadiens.
Brad Boyes tallied his team-leading 19th goal and Dan Ellis stopped only 15 shots in the loss.
Florida was without starting goaltender Roberto Luongo due to a neck injury he suffered on Thursday in a collision versus the Carolina Hurricanes. He was not expected to travel with the Panthers on their two-game road trip versus the Devils and Islanders, but should be available for a season-ending five- game homestand.
Scott Clemmensen was recalled from the minors to back up Ellis and may see action as the Panthers visit the Islanders on Tuesday.
The Panthers and Devils have split two meetings this season, with each team winning once at home. New Jersey has won three straight and 14 of its last 18 as the host in this series.
03/31 10:27:41 ET
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