New Jersey (18-12-3), leading the Atlantic Division by four points over Philadelphia and the Rangers, will be playing in Vancouver for the first time since a 4-2 loss on Dec. 29, 2001. The Devils have not defeated the Canucks (17-12-4) on the road since a 2-1 victory March 15, 1999.
Following this game, the Devils head to Edmonton for the first time in nearly six years Friday before closing the trip Sunday with its first appearance in Calgary since March 5, 2003.
The Devils won for just the second time in five games since their nine-game winning streak, 4-2 over the Flyers on Sunday. John Madden scored two goals and Martin Brodeur made 29 saves, including one on a penalty shot, to lift New Jersey.
"That was the turning point in the hockey game," Devils coach Brent Sutter said about Brodeur's stop on Daniel Briere. "They get the penalty shot and Marty makes a great save. It was massive."
Brodeur is 11-1-1 with a 1.68 goals-against average and two shutouts in his last 13 starts. In 14 starts against the Canucks, Brodeur is 6-8-0 with a 2.59 GAA. He ended a personal five-game skid to Vancouver with a 3-0 win in the teams' last meeting Jan. 13, 2006.
Tonight Brodeur opposes a Canucks team that has lost four of five since an 11-2-2 stretch. Vancouver, though, has picked up a point in three of those five games, including a 2-1 shootout loss in Edmonton on Saturday.
The game was scoreless until the Oilers found the back of the net at the 16:31 mark of the third period, but the Canucks tied it with 1:22 left when Daniel Sedin's shot bounced off a body in front and went to Mattias Ohlund, who had an easy tap in to send the game to overtime.
"They scored late and kind of put us behind the 8-ball," said Vancouver's Curtis Sanford, who made 25 saves starting in place of the injured Roberto Luongo. "We battled back and that's what we do. We're always in games right to the very end. It was a good point for us to get."
Luongo hasn't played since Dec. 8 because of bruised ribs. Sanford has gone 1-2-1 with a 2.79 GAA in the four games Luongo has sat out.
Also missing from Vancouver's lineup is center Brendan Morrison, who has been sidelined the last three games by a right wrist injury that required surgery and will keep him out up to 12 weeks. The injury ended Morrison's 542-game playing streak, which had been the longest current one in the NHL.
Morrison, who began his career with the Devils in 1997-98, is tied for third on the Canucks with eight goals and has 20 points in 30 contests this season.
Sanford has started only once against the Devils, on Jan. 17, 2006 while with St. Louis, and was pulled after allowing three goals on 11 shots.
The last four meetings in this series have come in New Jersey, with the Canucks winning three of those matchups.
with wire services
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