New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils, 7:00 PM at The Prudential Center
Where To Watch: MSG 2
Where To Listen: 1130-AM, Bloomberg Radio
Live In-Game Chat: 6:45 PM on BlueshirtsUnited.com
The Rangers (42-15-7, 91 pts) travel across the Hudson River to open up a three-game road swing against the Devils (36-24-5, 77 pts) Tuesday night at The Rock, part of a stretch in which the Blueshirts are playing five out of six games away from Madison Square Garden. The Rangers began this heavy road stretch with a 3-2 win in Carolina last Thursday, before dropping a 4-3 overtime decision in Tampa the following night. An exciting 4-3 home-ice win over the Bruins followed on Sunday afternoon, and now the Rangers---who are 4-0-1 overall in their last five games---begin this road trip. The banged-up Rangers were given Monday off by the coaching staff, with a number of key players needing some time to heal their bumps and bruises. Team captain Ryan Callahan, who has missed three straight games due to a conturion on his right foot, might be able to play Tuesday night, but no determination has been made regarding his playing status as of yet. Henrik Lundqvist is the likely starter in goal for the Rangers on Tuesday, and, uncharacteristically, he has surrendered seven goals in his last two starts, though his .938 save percentage still leads the league and his 1.82 goals against average is second-best in the NHL. Marian Gaborik enters play having scored goals in three straight games, and with five goals in his last six matches. The Devils enter play sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, 14 points behind first-place New York. They are just two points out of fith place, but also only one point ahead of seventh place Ottawa. The Devils are coming off a lackluster 1-0 loss to the Islanders on Sunday, and are just 1-4-1 in their last six games.
This is the fifth of six meetings between the Rangers and Devils this season , and the last of three at the Prudential Center. It is also the fourth time in the past 36 days that these two teams have played one another---and they will meet once again 13 days from this one. The Rangers are 2-1-1 so far against the Devils, winning the most recent battle 2-0 on February 27th behind Henrik Lundqvist's 13-save shutout. That victory was the 100th earned by the Rangers against the Devils in franchise history. Both Carl Hagelin and Marian Gaborik have two goals, three assists, and five points against New Jersey so far in the season series.
"I think we have done it all year---dealing with some injuries, dealing with a lot of things---and it just shows the character and resilience of our hockey club to keep finding a way to get the job done. (Sunday's game) was just another example, it was a war out there, and guys were putting their bodies on the line. When that happens it's just a relief to keep getting the two points. Now we have to continue to carry that forward."-Michael Del Zotto
By The Numbers
Should Henrik Lundqvist start tonight, it would mark his 40th career appearance vs. the Devils. So far in his career he has a 24-10-5 record vs. New Jersey, with a tiny 1.76 goals against average, and six shutouts. This season he is 2-1-0 against the Devils with a sensational 0.67 goals against and .970 save percentage.
New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk is 12th in the NHL's scoring race with 62 points in 60 games played. He has 25 goals on the season---and 394 in his career---though he has now gone nine straight games without scoring a goal.
Who will win The Battle of the Hudson Tuesday night? Share your prediction below.