Important Games On Tap

Saturday, March 17th 2007, 2:54 pm
By: News On 6

UNDATED (AP) The New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes have begun the NHL's eleven-game slate with an afternoon scrum at the Meadowlands.

The Devils open play four points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres, who posted a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay Friday night. New Jersey also is clinging to a 4-point lead over Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division.

It's another huge game for the Hurricanes, who begin the day tied with the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference playoff berths.

Other East matchups have Toronto at Montreal, Ottawa hosting Philadelphia, the New York Rangers entertaining Boston and the New York Islanders visiting Florida. The Rangers and Maple Leafs are within one point of a playoff spot, one point ahead of the Canadiens.

The Western Conference slate opens in Nashville, where the Predators take on Dallas. Nashville will try to rebound after getting swept in a home-and-home series with Detroit, which allowed the Red Wings to overtake the Predators for the Western Conference lead.

After that, it's Minnesota at Calgary, Colorado in Phoenix, Vancouver hosting Detroit and Los Angeles entertaining Columbus. The Canucks top the Northwest Division by just one point over the Wild.