The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (2-5-1) go across the river to face off against their hated rivals, the New York Rangers (3-2-1). This is the first of six meetings this season.
The Last Devils Game: The Devils were thrashed by the Sabres, 6-1, last night at home. I’m still peeved about the loss, but here’s three things to note:
1. The Devils looked terrible in their own zone.
2. Johan Hedberg wasn’t given any support.
3. The team played lackluster and, frankly, worse than an AHL team.
The Last Rangers Game: The Rangers defeated the Boston Bruins, 3-2, last night in Boston. The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Artem Anisimov and Alex Frolov. Zdeno Chara cut the lead to 2-1 with a powerplay tally at 19:55 of the period. The Rangers extended their lead in the second period, with Marc Staal giving the Blueshirts a 3-1 lead. Nathan Horton continued his hot start, pulling the Bruins to within a goal at 12:27 of the period. The Rangers would blank the Bruins in the third for their second straight win.
The Last Devils – Rangers Game: The Rangers defeated the Devils, 4-3, in a shootout during a late season meeting last year. The Devils once again scored first, with Ilya Kovalchuk giving New Jersey an early 1-0 lead. Brandon Dubinsky tied the game with a powerplay goal in the second period, tying the game at one. The third period followed the same script as the fourth game, with the Devils wasting leads. Patrik Elias put the Devils ahead, 2-1, early in the third period. Anisimov tied the game at 9:40 of the second period, and the scoring gates were opened. Jamie Langenbrunner gave the Devils a 3-2 lead at 12:37 of the period, but the Rangers answered that tally with one of their own. With their net open, Chris Drury scored at 19:43 to tie the game and send it to overtime. The teams remained scoreless through the extra period, and Erik Christensen was the only player to score in the shootout. (For a full recap, click here.)
For a full recap of the historical rivalry, check our preview here. Make sure you follow the jump for the analysis of tonight's matchup.