After two complete successes in New Jersey during games one and two, the series comes back to New York with the Rangers up 2-0 in their series against their Hudson River rivals. It’s time for the most storied building in the hockey world to host its first playoff game of the season. Hopefully, there will be plenty more against different opponents as the Rangers continue to progress, but it is game three tonight.
After the Rangers outscored the Devils 10-2 at the Prudential Center, it looks like the Blueshirts may not be facing Vitek Vanacek in this one. Akira Schmid was the first Devils goalie off the ice and the Devils are hoping that the Rangers will not have the same answers for the Swiss netminder as they did for the Czech one. If New York can keep breaking through with 5 goals a game, the Devils will not be in the playoffs much longer.
On the flip side, the New York Rangers are going to need to adapt. I mentioned multiple times that the Devils have some serious struggles at the Prudential Center for some reason, but they had the second-best road record in hockey, only to the 65-win Boston Bruins. If the Rangers start to look ahead to the next round, the Devils are more than capable of winning both games at MSG and forcing this series back to New Jersey.
New Jersey Devils
Ondrej Palat – Nico Hischier – Jesper Bratt
Erik Haula – Jack Hughes – Tomas Tatar
Timo Meier – Michael McLeod – Dawson Mercer
Miles Wood – Curtis Lazar – Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves – John Marino
Brendan Smith – 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 game is scheduled to start at 8 PM Eastern, but that will not likely start until closer to 8:30 as we have learned after watching the first round so far. ABC will have the coverage of this one as we wait to see if the Blueshirts can push the Devils to the edge of elimination in the postseason with a win tonight. There are no minor games in the playoffs, but this one could determine the fate of this series.