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New Jersey Devils vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

Associated Press

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New Jersey Devils vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Devils-Blue Jackets Preview

GAME: New Jersey Devils (25-12-10-1) at Columbus Blue Jackets (14-25-7-3).

TIME: Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST.

Rick Nash is the main reason why the Columbus Blue Jackets aren't the worst team in the league.

Nash will try to add to his NHL-leading goal total when the Blue Jackets host the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils.

With a pair of goals in a 4-3 victory over Chicago on Saturday, Nash upped his league-leading total to 30. Vancouver's Markus Naslund is second with 27.

``I really never thought I'd be here,'' said Nash, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft. ``I owe a lot to the team and to the power play. Almost half of them are power-play goals. (David) Vyborny assisted on about 80 percent of them, so I owe a lot to him.''

Fourteen of Nash's goals have come with the man advantage, while Vyborny has 17 assists and his 30 points are second on the team, six behind Nash.

The Blue Jackets, however, are the second-worst team in the Western Conference, and are just eight points ahead of league-worst Pittsburgh.

Columbus has just one loss in its last five (3-1-1), including wins over playoff hopefuls St. Louis and Los Angeles.

The Devils have won four of their last five, but are still looking up at Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia. After this game, New Jersey finishes its three-game road trip with stops at Detroit and St. Louis.

Following a 10-game goal drought, Devils left wing Jeff Friesen has scored in three of the last four contests. Friesen scored his third game-winning goal this season in New Jersey's 3-2 victory over Atlanta on Sunday.

Friesen took advantage of a giveaway by Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk and scored the winner early in the third period for his 11th of the season.

``Sometimes you get in slumps and, for whatever reason, guys don't get on the same page,'' Friesen said. ``Sometimes it's a frustrating rut to get out of, but I feel I'm out of the rut now and I'm starting to contribute offensively.''

Martin Brodeur made 24 saves and Grant Marshall scored a goal and set up another by Patrik Elias for the Devils, who have just one loss in their last six (4-1-1).

2003-2004 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 27 '04 NJD 4 at CBJ 3 B. Gionta
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