Season Series: This is the only meeting of the season between the two clubs. The Canucks defeated the Devils 3-0 in Vancouver, in last season's lone matchup. Roberto Luongooutplayed Martin Brodeur, making 30 saves, while Vancouver had goals from Raffi Torres, Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin. Brodeur turned aside 20 shots.
Big Story: Both clubs are motoring along with a quarter of the regular season remaining. The Canucks, in the midst of a six-game road trip during which they've gone 2-1-0, ended an NHL-record 23-game home winning streak by the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday via a 4-3 shootout decision. The victory, Vancouver's League-leading 21st on the road, moved them within one point of top-seeded Detroit in the Western Conference standings. The Devils have won four in a row and are 9-1-1 since the All-Star break, moving from eighth to fourth in the Eastern Conference. Devils coach Peter DeBoer is hoping to have injured defensemen Adam Larsson, who has missed nine games, and Kurtis Foster (two games) and forwardRyan Carter (eight games) back in the lineup against the Canucks.
Canucks: Vancouver heads into Newark less than 24 hours after an emotional 4-3 shootout victory over the NHL-leading Red Wings, ending Detroit's record 23-game home winning streak. The win improved the Canucks to 7-6 in shootouts this season. Alexandre Burrows scored the only goal in the third round of the shootout to give Vancouver the triumph. Daniel Sedin's second goal of the game with just 16 seconds remaining in the third period sent the contest into overtime. Roberto Luongo, who stopped Jiri Hudler, Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi in the tie-breaker, finished the game with 33 saves.
"For us to come in here and play well and show that we can beat them means a lot,'" Burrows said. "But there's a lot of work ahead and if we face them in the playoffs, it will start 0-0."
Devils: Brodeur has played in 14 of the last 16 games, compiling a 10-3-1 record, including Tuesday 4-3 overtime win in Toronto when he turned aside 29 shots. He has won his last four and is 8-1-0 since the All-Star break. The future Hall of Fame goalie points to first-year coach DeBoer as one of the big reasons the team is playing so well at a time when it matters most.
"You have to get guys to buy into your system and I think Pete has done that with his demeanor," Brodeur told The (Newark) Star-Ledger. "He does a good job getting everybody involved, it's not just a one-man show. He understands the ups and downs of a season and is good about taking care of guys by giving them days off."
Who's Hot: Devils rookie center Adam Henrique has a goal and five assists during a four-game point streak. He leads all NHL first-year players with 41 points. … The Canucks' top line of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Burrows has combined for nine goals and 21 points in the team's last five games.
Injury report: Canucks winger Byron Bitz has missed back-to-back games due to a sore hip, while defenseman Keith Ballard is out with a neck injury. … For the Devils, defensemen Larsson (back), Foster (back) and Carter (right hand), who all skated with the team on Thursday, are probable. DefensemanHenrik Tallinder (blood clot) and center Travis Zajac (left Achilles tendon) are out.
Stat pack: New Jersey has scored the first goal of the game in a club record nine straight and have compiled a 7-2-0 record in the process.
Puck Drop: The Devils will honor Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick, 65, prior to Friday's game. Emrick, stepped down as the voice of the Devils after last season, though he still works games for NBC. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. ET and the opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:25.
"We were fortunate to have 'Doc' as part of our organization for more than 20 years," Devils President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello said. "Mike and Joyce Emrick will always be part of the Devils' family. We look forward to welcoming them back to Prudential Center."