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Riding winning streak, Devils wait for Panthers

Associated Press

4/9/2012 4:15:48 PM

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils will return to the playoffs after a year's absence with the NHL's current longest winning streak and the biggest wait to start the post-season.

New Jersey is going to have to sit around for six days before it opens a first-round series Friday in Florida against the Panthers.

It will be the last of the eight, best-of-seven series to start, and one could say the red-hot Devils might lose some momentum with almost a week off. The other seven series start on Wednesday and Thursday.

Still, it might be a talking point. Both teams wrapped up the regular season Saturday, so the late start, which Devils coach Peter DeBoer attributed to television scheduling, has both clubs practicing as well as healing after 82 games.