It was an odd five-day break as the Blueshirts got to lick their wounds and get healthy after some tough times with injury trouble recently, but that is over with the Metropolitan Division leaders ready to return to the ice as they take on their Hudson River rivals in the New Jersey Devils. When playing against the little brother of the three teams in the NYC area, the Devils seem to suffer from an inferiority complex, so putting them back in the basement can’t be wrong.
Both Igor Shesterkin and Ryan Lindgren have been coming back from minor injuries. Shesterkin hasn’t appeared for the Blueshirts since the Carolina game, so getting the 2021-22 Vezina Trophy winner back is always a good sign. For Lindgren, we know he will play through all sorts of pain and ailments, but a healthy Ryan Lindgren is paramount, given the rest of the injuries the Rangers are dealing with.
Still, no Adam Fox, with the star defenseman not eligible to be activated from LTIR until the 29th of the month, and Filip Chytil remains absent from practice for the Blueshirts. The Czech forward is on IR and is out indefinitely. Neither has played since being hurt in the Carolina game, which has posed a lot of pain for the Rangers after the fact. However, the Blueshirts have found a way to cope until now, so doing it again tonight will be a requirement for the Original Six franchise.
On the other side, the Devils have had their own injuries. No Nico Hischier or Timo Meier should help the Rangers, but the scary sight is that the Devils superstar will be a game-time decision for tomorrow night. He’s been out for an extended period after smashing the end boards of Ball Arena in Colorado somewhat awkwardly. Trying to shut down a player of that caliber without your best defenseman may be challenging for the Blueshirts, but it’s the task at hand.
New Jersey Devils
Tyler Toffoli – Michael McLeod – Jesper Bratt
Erik Haula – Jack Hughes – Curtis Lazar
Ondrej Palat – Dawson Mercer – Alexander Holtz
Max Willman – Chris Tierney – Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Kevin Bahl – John Marino
Jack Hughes – Brendan Smith
New York Rangers
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Blake Wheeler
Artemi Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Alexis Lafreniere
Will Cuylle – Nick Bonino – Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey – Barclay Goodrow – Tyler Pitlick
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Ryan Lindgren – Erik Gustafsson
Zac Jones – Braden Schneider
This is a 7 p.m. Eastern puck drop for this one. New York will be looking to distance itself from the chasing pack of the toughest division in the NHL. New Jersey will try to cut the Rangers’ lead in the division. If the Rangers can defeat their Hudson River rival, they will be avenging some of the embarrassment they sustained in the playoffs last season when they could not score on the Devils in game 7.