New York Rangers take on Devils in battle for second place
The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils will battle for second place in the Metro Division in a Saturday afternoon rumble. A regulation win by the Rangers will leapfrog them over the Devils, who have a 1 point lead.
Heading into today’s action, these two teams couldn’t be on more opposite sides of the tracks. The surging Blueshirts are on a 12-3-2 run facing a struggling Devils squad that’s lost 10 of their last 13 games (3-8-2).
“We’re at the halfway point,” Gerard Gallant said on Friday. “We didn’t have a great start to the season and obviously the last month was really good for us. We’re playing more of a 200′ game as a team and that’s why we’re getting success.”
Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:
New York Rangers (22-12-6) vs. New Jersey Devils (24-12-3)
Date/Time: January 7, 2023 at 1:00 PM ET
Arena: Prudential Center
Radio: ESPN 98.7
New York Rangers go for second place
The New York Rangers come into this divisional contest having won three straight with points in their last four (3-0-1). Meanwhile, the Devils has seen the law of averages impact their results after a 13 game winning streak earlier in the season and winning 16 of 17.
New Jersey is also struggling at home, blowing a lead against the St. Louis Blues in their most recent loss. The Devils last win at the Prudential Center came against the Chicago Blackhawks on December 6th. Since that game, they’ve gone 0-7-1, but the Rangers are not going to take them lightly.
“It’s going to be two good teams playing and hopefully we play our best hockey to give ourselves a chance to win,” Gallant stated.
On the road, the Rangers are one of the best teams in the NHL. Their record away from the Garden is a solid 13-5-2 for 28 points which ranks fourth in the league this season to date. They’ve also picked up a point in seven of their last eight as a visitor (6-1-1).
Another big reason for the Rangers success has been their play in the third period. The Blueshirts 53 goals in the final frame ranks third in the league and their +16 third period goal differential is good for fourth.
“Everybody’s aware of it, of where the standings [are],” captain Jacob Trouba said after practice Friday afternoon at the Complexe Sportif Bell in Montreal. “It’s one of 82, at the same time, as much as it’s a big divisional game. Guys are aware, but I don’t think it’s a crazy, crazy motivational point. It is what it is.”NY Post
Freshly minted NHL All-Star Igor Shesterkin will be back in net and looking to add to his excellent numbers. The 27 year-old goalie’s stats are among the best in the league with an overall record of 18-6-5 with a GAA of 2.43 and a save percentage of .917 including one shutout.
For his career against the Devils, Shesterkin is 7-4-0 with a GAA of 2.76 and a .917 save percentage.
This is the third meeting of the season between these two rivals with the Rangers going 1-1-0 to date.
The Devils handed the Rangers a big loss on November 28 with a 5-3 victory as the Blueshirts blew a 2-0 lead at home. New York got some revenge on December 12 with a comeback win of their own 4-3 on a Filip Chytil overtime goal at the Garden.
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