Pedal to the metal for New York Rangers as they take on New Jersey Devis for third straight time

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Apr 15, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Jacob Trouba #8 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal at 47 seconds of the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on April 15, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers vs Devils: There are some that have concerns a letdown is coming. Despite David Quinn’s repeated mantra that no one should take the Devils or Sabres lightly at this time of the year, it is in the back of plenty of minds.

Right now Igor Shesterkin is riding a shutout streak of 120 minutes, Artemi Panarin is playing highlight reel hockey, and Jacob Trouba is commanding the locker-room. Despite all that the Blueshirts need to keep the pedal to the metal and knock of NJ a third straight time today.

Rangers: 21-16-6 (48 pts)
Devils: 14-22-6 (34 pts)

(12:30 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM)

Red Hot Rangers the best teams in the East since Mid-March

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Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are currently riding a four game point streak (3-0-1) and could set a new season high with at least a point today. David Quinn’s charges have also earned a point in eight of nine (6-1-2) and in 14 of their last 18 games (11-4-3) which is the start of this incredible run.

Since March 13th, which coincides with Artemi Panarin’s return from a leave of absence the Rangers have amassed 25 points. That’s one more than the first place Capitals and third place Penguins. It is also five more points than the second place Islanders and three more than the fourth place Bruins.

According to the Blueshirts only have a 20.7% to make the playoffs in the East, but if they can pick up more wins that percentage will continue to rise.

Russian Rangers leading the way!

Shesterkin notched his second straight shutout after recoding his first ever NHL goose egg on Tuesday. He only had to make 16 saves in the Blueshirts 4-0 blanking of the Devils. With the victory his record improves to 12-9-3 and drops his GAA to 2.25 while upping his SV% to .925 in the process. Since the calendar flipped to March, Shesty is 8-2-2. He is ready to keep the streak going this afternoon.

“Obviously, two shutouts are great, but I will reinforce the fact that it wouldn’t have happened without the guys,” Shesterkin said. “They’re going down, blocking every shot, eating pucks. It never happens without them. We’re playing the right way. We’re taking it step by step and we’re trying to make the playoffs.”

Meanwhile, Artemi Panarin scored twice the last game and picked up an assist to power the Rangers offense. He’s starting to raise the MVP flag with his dominant play. So how important is the Breadman to the Blueshirts? Since his return on March 13th from a forced leave of absence due to a political hit job he has 28 points and is a +16 in 18 games.

If that isn’t enough to convince Hart Trophy voters, Panarin has recorded at least a point in 50 of the Blueshirts 58 wins since he joined the club last year. Despite only playing 32 games this season, his 46 points have him 11th overall in scoring. His 1.44 points per game however place him third behind Connor McDavid (1.64) and Leon Draisaitl (1.45).

Rangers Pre Game Notes

  • All-Time vs Devils*: 124-96-27-10 (68-35-20-4 at home; 56-61-7-6 on the road) *Note: All-time record includes games against the Kansas City Scouts from 1974-75 – 1975-76 and the Colorado Rockies from 1976-77 – 1981-82
  • Artemi Panarin – 2 assists away from 300 in his NHL career; 6 assists away from 100 with the Rangers.
  • The Rangers were 3-for-3 (6:00) on Apr. 15 vs. New Jersey.
  • The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in 26 of their last 36 games (93-for-106; 87.7%), including 20 of the last 29 games (71-for-83; 85.5%).
  • Five different Rangers defensemen have tallied a goal over the last four games (Miller, Hajek, Smith, Trouba, and Lindgren), and each of the Rangers’ six defensemen (Fox, Miller, Hajek, Smith, Trouba, and Lindgren) has recorded a goal over the last six games. The Blueshirts have had multiple defensemen tally a goal in two of the last three games (Apr. 11 at NY Islanders – Hajek and Smith; Apr. 15 vs. New Jersey – Trouba and Lindgren).

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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