Rangers-Devils Preview

New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils, 7:30 PM at Madison Square Garden

Where To Watch: NBC Sports Network

Where To Listen: 1050 ESPN Radio

Live In-Game Chat: 7:15 PM on BlueshirtsUnited.com

 

What2Watch4

 

Monday night at Madison Square Garden the Rangers (39-15-6, 84 pts) host the Devils (35-22-4, 74 pts) four and a half hours after the NHL trading deadline passes. Whether or not there will be and new faces in the Blueshirts lineup remains to be seen, as team President and General Manager Glen Sather will size up any and all possible ways to improve his first-place club for the homestretch of the 2011-12 season. The Rangers did trade forward Wojtek Wolski to the Florida Panthers on Saturday in exchange for minor league defenseman Michael Vernace and a third round pick in the 2013 draft, but had yet to add any new players heading into Monday's deadline for making trades. The Devils made their big move prior to the deadline on Friday, acquiring defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the Minnesota Wild. Zidlicky made his debut for the Devils in their 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon. With a win Monday the Rangers would reach 40 victories on the season, and would do so in only their 61st game. Right now the Blueshirts, who are coming off Saturday's thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over the Sabres, are 13 wins away from tying the franchise single-season record of 52 victories set back in the Stanley Cup-winning season of 1993-94. The Devils, who come in ten points behind the Rangers in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, have dropped two straight after a four-game winning streak and a run that saw them go 9-1-1 in their previous 11 games.

 

Head2Head

 

This is the fourth of six meetings between the Rangers and Devils this season. New Jersey has captured the previous two games of the series, with the Rangers posting a 1-1-1 mark against the Devils so far this season. The Rangers lone win against the Devils came at The Rock on December 20th, a game in which Marian Gaborik scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist excelled in goal. After that the Devils secured a 4-3 shootout victory in New Jersey on January 31st and 1-0 shutout win eight days later at The Garden. 11 of the last 15 games in this rivalry have been decided by two goals or fewer; and the Rangers next win against the Devils will be their 100th all-time against New Jersey.

 

"We haven't been playing our best hockey as of late, and we need to get back on track with that. I thought (Saturday) we played a complete 60 minutes, and were physical right off the start which is a big thing for this team. If we are hitting and pressuring that's when we are playing at our best. As far as the (trade) deadline, I'm not going to speculate on that, I'm just worried on what's happening here. We have a great group of guys in here. Management has to do what they feel is right. We can only control what goes on on the ice."-Ryan Callahan

 

By The Numbers

 

Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur have faced each other head to head in 32 regular season matches since Lundqvist entered the NHL. In those games Lundqvist has posted a record of 21-6-5 with a 1.77 goals against average and four shutouts.

The Rangers lead the entire NHL with a .903 winning percentage when  scoring the first goal of the game. Their record stands at 28-1-2 when scoring first. However they have not scored first in any of their last three games.

 

So who is going to win on Monday, the Rangers or the Devils? Share your prediction on the game below.

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