Rangers look to continue streak and get some payback versus Devils
The New York Rangers are sizzling hot with an 11-2-1 record and riding a 10-game point streak entering Saturday’s match against division rival New Jersey Devils. Tonight also marks the first regular season showdown between the two teams since the Blueshirts lost in 7 games in the first round last spring to the team across the Hudson River.
Sitting first in the Metropolitan Division in the standings at the moment, the Blueshirts are not only aiming to maintain their position, but also to come out victorious in their battle against the Devils as it will be a preview of more high-stakes matchups that are certain later in the season.
Coming off a five-day lay-off, New York hopes to emerge sharp and prepared to play against their rival division opponents. “I think our guys are excited to start playing games. Sometimes when you get that many days off, you almost wish you were playing games,” said head coach Peter Laviolette after yesterday’s practice.
Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:
New York Rangers (11-2-1) vs New Jersey Devils (8-6-1)
Date/Time: November 18, 2023 @ 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Prudential Center
Radio: ESPN 1050 AM
Note: Subject to change, updated for each game
New York Rangers Projected Lineup
Kreider – Zibanejad – Wheeler
Panarin – Trocheck– Lafreniere
Cuylle – Bonino – Kakko
Vesey – Goodrow – Pitlick
Miller – Trouba
Lindgren – Gustafsson
Jones – Schneider
Update: Igor Shesterkin will start per Peter Laviolette
As of Friday’s practice session, head coach Laviolette said goalie Igor Shesterkin had no restrictions; but the decision if he will start in goal will be made today. Jonathan Quick was the first goalie off the ice, usually indicating who the starter will be. Adam Fox remains out on LTIR. Filip Chytil remains out on IR.
Across the way, Jack Hughes is a game-time decision after missing the last 5 games with an upper-body injury.
Note: there will be no pre-game practice skate today, but Coach Laviolette will be available to the media at the Prudential Center at 4:50 pm. Check back for updates.
New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils
New York’s most recent game, last Sunday night, ended in a 4-3 score at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The game went to overtime, but eventually ended in a shootout — ultimately won by Alexis Lafreniere with a nifty top-shelf shot off goalie Elvis Merzlikins. Lafreniere had two of the three regulation goals as well, both at even strength. The first goal of the game was scored by Chris Kreider off a slick pass from Erik Gustafsson.
One notable feature of the game was that the Rangers won 65% of their face-offs, or 45 of 69 face-offs. According to the Rangers, New York has the best face-off percentage in the NHL with an overall 56.0 percent mark. The Blueshirts have been over 50 percent in the face-off circle in 12 of this season’s 14 games.
For tonight’s game, Laviolette said about the Devils, “they’re a fast team — they play fast — I said maybe from the exhibition games wee’re gonna have to be ready to skate, ready to compete, keep them in front of us…they’re high-octane, they throw a lot of pucks at the net, they defend pretty well, they play with pace.”
Laviolette also pointed out that not all the Blueshirt players are the same as last year, which gives the team a somewhat different character and perspective than just that of a team who was beaten in the playoffs by the Devils last postseason.
Some notable stats for the Rangers coming into the game, as per the Rangers, include: On the road against New Jersey, the Rangers have points in seven of their last nine contests (6-2-1); New York has seven players (Kreider, Fox, Gustafsson, Lafreniere, Panarin, Trocheck, Zibanejad) with 10 or more points, tied for the fourth most in the NHL; the Blueshirts have the allowed the second fewest GA/GP (2.13) in the NHL and have allowed the second fewest shots per game in the NHL (27.4).
Artemi Panarin is on a tear. He’s riding a season-opening point streak of 14 games (8G-16A), tied for the longest such streak by a Rangers player in team history (Rod Gilbert – 14-game run in 1972-73). It’s also Panarin’s longest point streak of his career and the longest for a Ranger since Theo Fleury (14 GP) during the 2000-01 season. The last Ranger to have points in 15-straight games was Wayne Gretzky (15 GP) in 1996-97.