The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (4-9-1) face off against their Atlantic Division rival the New York Rangers (6-5-1) at the Prudential Center. This is the second of six meetings this season.
The Devils Last Game: It was the last game of a west coast road trip and the Devils had to make a stop at the home of the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Devils came away with a win in which the scored 5 goals (yes, I know, 2 were EN’s). It was a great way to end a road trip and hopefully a way to gather a little bit of steam. Marty Brodeur did hurt his elbow in the game and was replaced by Hedberg during the game.
The Rangers Last Game: The Rangers headed to Philly to take on a hot Flyers team. The Flyers skated away with a 4-1 win, a game in which each team had just 21 shots.
The Last Devils / Rangers Game: The Blueshirts skated away with a 3-1 victory on home ice on October 24th.
Player to Watch: Brandon Dubinsky leads NY with 8 goals. He also has 12 points on the season which leads the team among players dressing tonight. (Callahan has 13 points but was injuredafter falling heavily into the boards during Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.)
Injury report: Gaborik (shoulder), Ryan Callahan (Upper Body), Chris Drury (finger) and Vinny Prospal (knee) are out for the Rangers. Parise (knee), Marty Brodeur (elbow), Colin White (Flu), Bryce Salvador (concussion), Matthew Corrente (hand), Jacob Josefson (hand), Mark Fraser (hand) and Brian Rolston (sports hernia) are out for the Devils. Get all that??!!
Random Stats: The Rangers are 2-0 in the second-half of back-to-backs this season. They beat New Jersey one night after beating Boston and shut out Toronto 2-0 last Saturday, one night after losing to Carolina. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wednesday’s game marked the first time the Devils scored two empty-net goals in the same game.
Tonight’s Matchup: A win tonight for the Devils would be a huge boost in moral. The Devils have yet to string together two straight wins and have yet to give their fans a win at home this season. A win tonight would also get the Devils out of the basement in the Atlantic Division and could put them 2 points behind the Penguins, who play the Ducks tonight in Anaheim. The game plan for the Devils should follow what was done the other night in Chicago because dumping the puck seemed to work them. Whatever the method of attack is tonight, the Devils need to build some momentum off the win in Chicago. The Rangers are a good team and a win tonight would do wonders for our locker room.
There is a lot of things changing by the minute for tonights lineup but lets just take a stab at this one..
Ilya Kovalchuk – Travis Zajac – Jamie Langenbrunner
Patrik Elias – Jason Arnott – Dainius Zubrus
Brad Mills – Rod Pelley – David Clarkson
Patrick Davis – Stephen Gionta – Adam Mair
Andy Greene – Henrik Tallinder
Anton Volchenkov- Matt Taormina
Alex Urbom- Olivier Magnan-Grenier