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newjerseydevils.com – The Devils will be hungry for a win tonight.
Looking to to snap a season-high winless streak, the Devils head across the Hudson River to Madison Square Garden, where they take on the Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m., MSG Plus, WFAN 660 AM).
The Devils (42-27-7) have been outscored 14-3 in losing their last four games (0-3-1) - a slide which began March 19 with a 2-1 home shootout loss to the Rangers (39-26-11). New Jersey hasn't lost five in a row since a six-game skid from Nov. 2-14, 2000.
Prior to their current slide, the Devils were tied atop the East with Montreal and held a one-point lead on Pittsburgh for first in the Atlantic Division.
New Jersey has now dropped into a tie with Ottawa for fourth place in the conference. The Devils are also four points back of division-leading Pittsburgh and five behind the East-leading Canadiens, while only holding a two-point edge on the sixth-place Rangers.
The slump continued with consecutive losses at the hands of the Penguins - a 2-0 loss at home on Tuesday and a 7-1 road defeat Saturday.
"Right now we just have to stay with it," Patrik Elias said after Tuesday's loss. "I thought we played pretty good tonight and got better as the game went on. In the third, we had the game on our sticks. We created opportunities and shots. We have to stay with it. The puck will go in eventually."
That hasn't happened much against the Rangers, who have outscored New Jersey 14-5 while winning all six meetings this season.
New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist has helped win all of those games, compiling a 0.81 goals-against average, .965 save percentage and two shutouts - both at the Garden. He's been outstanding at home against New Jersey throughout his career, posting a 7-0-1 record and 1.10 GAA.
Lundqvist made 23 saves Tuesday before giving up the deciding goal in overtime as the Rangers fell 2-1 at home to Philadelphia. The defeat came six days after New York lost 4-3 in a shootout on the road to the Flyers.
The Rangers lead seventh-place Philadelphia by one point and are three ahead of Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference.
Scott Gomez, the Rangers' leader with 67 points, also has a team-high five points this season against his former club. However, the center is nursing a rib injury that sidelined him Tuesday. He is considered day-to-day..
The teams face each other again in the regular-season finale April 6 at Prudential Center.
with wire services
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