82 regular season games over the course of 6 months spread the league out to take the best of the best and remove the rest. 16 teams remain and there are just 16 wins separating any of them from the Stanley Cup. For the New York Rangers, they will get their first chance to close that number down tonight as they prepare to visit the New Jersey Devils at the start of Game One tonight at the Prudential Center.
It’s an Old Rivalry renewed tonight as these two teams will meet in the playoffs for the first time in a long time. As the Hudson River rivals prepare to clash, we will see this series entirely in the New York City area. It means that we can expect a lot of Ranger fans to go on the road to New Jersey to ease the pressure away from home, especially in games tonight where winning game one could swing this series back in favor of the road team.
New Jersey has home ice in this series. This needs to come with a warning, however. This is a Devils team that has not been great at home. 11th best in the league at home, this Devils group were road warriors. Their strength was when they were in their whites. It means that the Prudential Center has not been this impenetrable fortress and the Blueshirts should fancy their chances of escaping with a win from these two games.
New Jersey Devils
Tomas Tatar – Nico Hischier – Dawson Mercer
Ondrej Palat – Jack Hughes – Jesper Bratt
Timo Meier – Erik Haula – Jesper Boqvist
Miles Wood – Michael McLeod – Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves – John Marino
Kevin Bahl – Damon Severson
New York Rangers
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey – Barclay Goodrow – Tyler Motte
Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Niko Mikkola – Braden Schneider
Puck drop time and where to watch
This is a 7 PM Eastern Puck drop that will be watchable across the MSG networks. There’s a ton of pressure to win from both teams as we look ahead to this game. Both teams need to start this series off well. However, the Rangers are okay if they don’t win game one. They can steal home ice in game 2 still. But if they win game one, they have a chance to do some real damage early in this series.