New York Rangers start vital back-to-back at home against the New Jersey Devils

Feb 22, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) checks New
Feb 22, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) checks New / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight is the start of a critical set of games in the New York Rangers season. February and the early returns in March have been promising, but the season is coming thick and fast as the Rangers know they are about to start the bag leg of a tough stretch of games. Knowing that the next couple of games have to end up with two points in the win column, and the start of this double-headed hydra is the New Jersey Devils.

All the talk in the last couple of days being about Alexander Wennberg, Jack Roslovic, Chad Ruhwedel, and the new trade deadline additions of the New York Rangers. However, the Devils made some changes of their own. With Tyler Toffoli and Colin Miller gone, a brand new goaltending tandem, and a different voice behind the bench, the Devils are not the same as the last time these two teams clashed.

While it is unconfirmed who will start for the Rangers tonight, I would expect it to be Jonathan Quick in goal tonight. As this is the first game of a back-to-back, the logical thing to do is to play the weaker goaltender against the worse team. New Jersey are not the same quality as Carolina who the Rangers will take on tomorrow. whoever starts tonight will be taking on one of the new Devils netminders.

Projected Lineups

New Jersey Devils

Ondrej Palat - Nico Hischier - Timo Meier
Jack Hughes - Erik Haula - Jesper Bratt
Chris Tierney - Curtis Lazar - Dawson Mercer
Kurtis Macdermid - Tomas Nosek - Alexander Holtz
Jonas Siegenthaller - John Marino
Kevin Bahl - Brendan Smith
Luke Hughes - Simon Nemec
Kaapo Kahkonen
Jake Allen

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Jack Roslovic
Artemi Panarin - Vincent Trocheck - Alexis Lafreniere
Will Cuylle - Alexander Wennberg - Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey - Barclay Goodrow - Matthew Rempe
Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox
K'Andre Miller - Braden Schneider
Zac Jones - Erik Gustafsson
Jonathan Quick
Igor Shesterkin

Puck Drop

This is a 7 p.m. puck drop from Madison Square Garden. These two teams are going to clash after one spent the deadline bulking up and the other tried to retool on the fly. The next 36 hours are going to either end the race for the division title, or tighten it. This team cannot look past the New Jersey Devils tonight for the game tomorrow. This is a game where the Rangers could get tripped up if they aren't careful and focused.