Do or die time. We know seven of the eight teams that will be in round two. The Edmonton Oilers, Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars, Seattle Kraken, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes have all punched their ticket to the second round. In the final game of round one, the Hudson River rivalry will see this series come to an end. Win and progress through to Game 1 in Raleigh. Lose and go home.
One of the looming questions after game six would be who starts in the net for the New Jersey Devils. New York chased Akira Schmid in that one after he came in for game three after Vitek Vanecek had a slow start to this series. Vanecek came in during the end of game six after the Blueshirts dropped 5 on the Devils. But we know Akira Schmid will once again be Lindy Ruff’s netminder of choice for this decisive game.
For New York, there’s not much to say. Play like they did in the 2nd and 3rd period of game six and they’ll move on. If they play like they did in games one and two, they’ll progress through to round two. But if the Rangers play as they did in game 5, the last time these two teams met at the Prudential Center, the season may be coming to an end tonight. Both teams control their own fate.
Last season, the New York Rangers overcame the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes in decisive game sevens. If the Rangers can use that experience to calm their nerves and remember that all of them have been in this position before and progressed, they will be fine. This coaching staff has seen game sevens with this group and they’ve been successful. It’s just a question of making sure they do their job tonight.
New York Rangers
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexis Lafreniere – Vincent Trocheck – Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey – Barclay Goodrow – Tyler Motte
Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Niko Mikkola – Braden Schneider
New Jersey Devils
Tomas Tatar – Nico Hischier – Jesper Bratt
Erik Haula – Jack Hughes – Ondrej Palat
Timo Meier – Dawson Mercer – Yegor Sharangovich
Nathan Bastian – Michael McLeod – Miles Wood
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves – John Marino
Kevin Bahl – Damon Severson
Puck drop time and where to watch
It’s an 8 PM Start time. MSG and MSGSN will have the feeds for this one as well as ESPN. With this being the only game in the NHL that is on tonight, the entire hockey world will be watching the Rangers and the Devils. Every fanbase will be making judgments on this one game tonight. There is a much more friendly path after this series to the finals, so if you win tonight, you have a real chance at the Stanley Cup.