Preds visit Devils aiming to snap 3-game slide

( - The NHL-leading Nashville Predators will try to halt their longest losing streak of the season when they cap a quick two-game road trip Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils.

The Predators have lost three straight -- all in regulation -- for the club's longest slide since another 0-3 stretch from March 15-19 of last season. Nashville last dropped four straight from March 1-8, 2014.

The drought has allowed St. Louis to creep within four points of Nashville for first place in the Central Division. With 89 points, the Preds are two in front of Anaheim for the Western Conference lead. Like the Ducks, the East- leading Montreal Canadiens also are two back of Nashville in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

Nashville is playing the second part of a back-to-back stretch and was handed a 4-1 loss by the New York Rangers on Monday. Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot turned aside 25-of-26 shots to help the home team stifle the Preds' offense.

Matt Cullen had the lone goal for Nashville while Pekka Rinne allowed three goals on 39 shots for the Predators, who fell to 15-11-6 as the road team.

"Every game we play right now is a test," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said.

With Nashville playing on consecutive nights, backup netminder Carter Hutton could give Rinne a rest this evening.

The Devils halted a two-game slide with Saturday's 2-0 win in Columbus. The victory was the fifth in the past seven games for New Jersey, but the club is still nine points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Cory Schneider made 33 saves to record his fourth shutout of the season and second in his last four starts. The victory also improved his record in 2014-15 to 23-23-6.

"It starts with our goaltender," Devils co-head coach Lou Lamoriello stated. "We go through our defense then we get to our forwards. Right now that's our assets and strengths and you work off that. Cory was once again outstanding."

Andy Greene netted the deciding goal with 4:13 left in the first period and the score remained 1-0 until Travis Zajac added an empty-net score in the final minute.

New Jersey is kicking off a three-game homestand tonight and also will welcome Columbus and Philadelphia during the residency. The Devils are 15-9-8 as the host this season.

Schneider is expected to start Tuesday and is 0-1-1 with a 3.85 goals against average in his career versus the Predators.

Nashville beat the Devils, 3-1, in the Music City on Feb. 14 and has claimed two straight and three of the past five encounters in this series. New Jersey has won two of the last three meetings at the Prudential Center.