The New York Rangers face the New Jersey Devils in an away game with a home crowd advantage at Yankee Stadium.
The Coors Lite Stadium Series puck drop is 12:30pm
The Rangers have recently hit a rough spot but it’s nothing a win against the Devils won’t cure. Despite recent troubles, the Rangers are still holding second place in the Metropolitan Division with 57 points from a 27-23-3 record. Henrik Lundqvist starts in net toady, as we await the revelation of his pad choice. Lundqvist is 17-18-3 and has three shut outs this season. He also has outdoor NHL experience. Lundqvist’s 2.53 goal against average and .915 save percentage will be taken to task today; it’s nothing he can’t handle. Today the Rangers are looking for Brad Richards to add to his 13 goals for 38 points. Rick Nash leads the team in goals with 17, a few more today would be nice; maybe his first Ranger hat trick? That would really be special. Mats Zuccarello grew up playing outdoors in Norway, he could use that to increase his 13 goals for 35 points too. Carl Hagelin has a few outdoor games under his belt from his college days, he even played at “The Big House” his senior year. Look for him to be a factor on the ice as well as he looks to add to his 11 goals for 19 points. When playing the Devils, there’s a certain amount of physical play and post whistle shoving that happens. If the Rangers play smart, they can get some power play chances and get their power play statistics going back up. Dan Girardi will certainly increase his 128 hits. Chris Kreider, Ryan Callahan, and Brian Boyle each have over 100 hits and should be able to add to their totals nicely as well. Blocking shots is going to really sting in the cold but the need for ice will be minimal; Girardi can add to his 98 blocked shots today without too much trouble. For much of this Rangers team, this game reminds them of the Winter Classic in Philadelphia a couple years ago. For a handful of guys, it’s a first time experience. Neither group has less to enjoy.
The Devils are currently sixth in the Metropolitan Division with 55 points. Their 22-19-11 record gives them one game in hand over the Rangers. Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils today. with 2.36 goals against average and a .905 save percentage gives a slight advantage to his opposition. Stats for the Devilsare tough to compare because only a handful of players have played in all 52 games this season. Jaromir Jagr leads the Devils with 16 goals for 42 points and four game winning goals. Behind Jagr is Patrik Elias with seven goals for 27 points. That is a huge gap. One players who has been hot recently is Michael Ryder with six points in his last games for a total of seven goals for 27 points. Eric Gelinas has six goals for 22 points this season with seven points in his last 10 games. Adam Henrique is a name most Ranger fans know. This season he has 14 goals for 26 points. Marek Zidlicky leads his team with 46 penalties in minutes. The Devils don’t have anyone who hits or blocks shots the way the Rangers have. This will be an interesting showdown at Yankee Stadium.