It’s time once again for the classic rivalry to be renewed. Tonight, the New Jersey Devils come into Madison Square Garden as they are the first team the New York Rangers will face on their nine-game home stand. Their next road game won’t come until December 27th when they head into Washington to play the Capitals.
This will be the third of five meetings between the two teams, the Devils have won the first two match-ups with scores of 4-0 and 3-2. New York Rangers tickets for the game are still available if you’re looking to go.
The Rangers are most certainly aware that this home stand will be pivotal in their future success. Some might think that a nine-game home stand is favorable to a team, but currently New York is under .500 on home ice this season, with a record of 5-6-0. This nine game stretch also begins with a tough back-to-back (tonight vs NJ, tomorrow vs Washington). The Columbus Blue Jackets, NY Islanders, and Pittsburgh Penguins are also scheduled to visit MSG.
The Rangers are yet again one game above the .500 mark for the season, and they have failed to put some consistency together as we have seen them teeter around the .500 mark for the past couple of weeks. They have won five of their last eight games, but at home there are some troubles, as they have lost four of their last five contests at the Garden.
Youngster J.T. Miller was recalled from Hartford yesterday, and will be in the line-up tonight taking the place of Benoit Pouliot. Michael Del Zotto is also a healthy scratch as Justin Falk will take his place, that move is most likely for grit especially because they are playing against a bitter rival.
The Devils are winless so far to start the month of December, they are 0-2-1 with their most recent loss coming last night against the Detroit Red Wings, a game in which they only mustered 11 shots on goal and lost 3-1.
Expect a big improvement from them tonight as they will be looking to shoot down the Rangers for the third consecutive time this season.
Rangers’ Projected Lineup
20 Kreider- 21 Stepan- 61 Nash
36 Zuccarello- 19 Richards- 24 Callahan
62 Hagelin- 16 Brassard- 47 Miller
22 Boyle- 28 Moore- 14 Pyatt
5 Girardi- 27 McDonagh
6 Stralman- 18 Staal
17 Moore- 44 Falk