Rangers Visit The Rock, Searching For Third Straight Win
After a small “dry-spell”, if you will, it seems as if the New York Rangers have finally found their footing again here in recent games. Their last two matchups have been wins, 8-4 over the Ottawa Senators and most recently last night, where Rick Nash made a feisty return to Columbus, in a 3-1 win, in what felt like a playoff game with all the physical play.
We are expecting the same kind of thing to happen tonight in Newark, as the Rangers head into the Prudential Center to take on the NJ Devils. The bad news is that they actually aren’t that far out from postseason contention. At the moment with the way things stand, the Devils are just five points back of the second wild card spot and seven points back of the third place Rangers in the division.
Special teams has been the name of the game for them, with both their power-play (3rd in the league) and penalty-kill (1st in the league) being excellent. So it looks like the Rangers will have to play this game five-on-five if they want to have a good shot. I mean, they’ll take power-plays if they present themselves, but who knows if they will have much luck going up against a good penalty-kill.
The Devils haven’t been playing GREAT hockey though, before their most recent win, a 4-3 OT victory over Minnesota, they lost their previous three games against Boston, Tampa Bay, and Florida.
This is something the Rangers need to take advantage of, the Devils have a ton of weaknesses, and if the star forwards like Rick Nash and Chris Kreider play with the same fire they had last night, New York will have great success against their rivals.
As always with these two teams, the Devils especially, I am expecting this contest to be a tight, defensive game with little offense, and a ton of responsibility will be placed on the goaltenders. Henrik Lundqvist is expected to get the start for the Rangers, which will be his fifth in a row. Martin Brodeur will be in net for the Devils.
The Rangers will pull out a victory, their third in a row, by a score of 2-1.