Live conversation as the new look Rangers make their debut

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 06: Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers skates against the New Jersey Devils during a preseason game at Madison Square Garden on October 06, 2021 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Devils 6-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 06: Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers skates against the New Jersey Devils during a preseason game at Madison Square Garden on October 06, 2021 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Devils 6-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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All of the players acquired on deadline day will make their New York Rangers’ debuts today as the newly reconfigured team plays the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.  As a result, some players who have been in the lineup will be sitting.

After the morning skate, Coach Gerard Gallant said that Andrew Copp, Tyler Motte and Justin Braun will be in the lineup tonight along with Frank Vatrano.  That means a turn in the press box for Brandon Schneider, Greg Mckegg and Jonny Brodzinski.

Gallant spoke about having to scratch players who have been contributing  “It’s always tough. But you know what, we’ve got good people here. good character.  I think when everybodies healthy we’re gonna have 27 guys around…it’s all about trying to win. We’re trying to win as a team…if you’re fortunate to get to the Stanley Cup Final, it’s gonna take all 27…we love everybody, they’re all good people.  We’ve had a good season, we’ve added pieces to our team.  As a coach we’re gonna dress the best 20 every night.”

Gallant mentioned the new players bring something to the penalty kill and perhaps on the power play, but he stressed that the lineups will be a work in progress.

It will certainly be an interesting game with so many new faces in the lineup and coming off the two dramatic wins over Tampa and Carolina.  All of the Metropolitan Division rivals are in action tonight so we will be scoreboard watching.

The Rangers will be looking to make this a really successful road trip with a win for a sweep of the three games.

So far this season

The Rangers have won both of their meetings with the Devils this season. The Blueshirts prevailed in a shootout 4-3 on November 14 with Alexandar Georgiev in net.   In that game, the Rangers blew a third period lead, allowing the Devils to tie the score with only 2:44 left on a goal by Pavel Zacha.

In their last meeting the Rangers won 3-1 on March 4 with Igor Shesterkin in net. Though it was an “easy” win, the Blueshirts forced Shesterkin to make a number of outstanding saves leaving Gallant quite perturbed after the game.  Tied 1-1 after the first period, the Rangers added a goal in the second and third periods for the win.

Projected starting lineups

Here’s the lineup for the new look Rangers.  Though Copp is a center, he will be playing left wing with Filip Chytil and Dryden Hunt.  Let’s see if he takes the faceoffs for that line.  Tyler Motte will be on the fourth line on the left side with Barclay Goodrow and Ryan Reaves.

As mentioned, Braden Schneider is sitting in favor of Justin Braun who will be teamed with Patrik Nemeth.

NEW YORK RANGERS

20 Kreider – 93 Zibanejad – 13 Lafrenière
23 Panarin – 16 Strome -77 Vatrano
18 Copp – 72 Chytil – 29 Hunt
64 Motte – 21 Goodrow – 76 Reaves

55 Lindgren –  23 Fox
79 Miller – 8 Trouba
15 Nemeth – 61 Braun

31 Shesterkin
40 Georgiev

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

17 Yegor Sharangovich – 86 Jack Hughes – 18 Dawson Mercer
63 Jesper Bratt – 13 Nico Hischier – 11 Andreas Johnsson
90 Tomas Tatar – 70 Jesper Boqvist –  16 Jimmy Vesey
20 Michael McLeod – 14 Nathan Bastian

71 Jonas Siegenthaler  – 7 Dougie Hamilton
33 Ryan Graves– 28 Damon Severson
55 Mason Geertsen – 76 P.K. Subban
24 Ty Smith

50 Nico Daws
32 Jon Gillies

The Devils may go with a 11 forward, 7 defensemen lineup if Janne Kuokkanen is not able to return from a hand injury.  Nico Daws should be in goal for New Jersey and it will be his second start against the Blueshirts as he lost the last game.

How to watch and the live conversation

The game is scheduled for 7pm and the telecast will be on the MSG Network with the national live stream on ESPN+.   The Devils’ version of the game will be on MSG2.

As usual, Blue Line Station’s live conversation is up and running and there will be a lot to talk about tonight.  We can discuss the newest acquisitions and provide opinions about how coach Gallant should be setting up his lineups moving forward.

Of course, there is always enough to talk about when it comes to the Devils and we can share in our trashing of P.K. Subban, the master of the slew foot.