Game Preview – Game 33: New York Rangers @ Your New Jersey Devils!

New Jersey Devils vs New York Rangers

New York Rangers (18-8-4, 40 points)  vs New Jersey Devils (18-13-1, 37 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Surprisingly, this will be the first of six meetings between the Atlantic Division rivals this season. This comes just eight games before the halfway point of the season for the Devils. Last season, the Rangers took the season series 4-2.

Patrik Elias to Miss Tonight’s Game:

Just three days after breaking the franchise’s career goals record, Patrik Elias is expected to miss the Devils’ first game against the Rangers tonight. Elias, who missed practice yesterday due to feeling ill, says he’s still not feeling well enough to play a full 60 minute game.

Without their leading scorer, this season and all-time, the Devils will move Travis Zajac up to the second line between Petr Sykora and Dainius Zubrus. Zajac has only averaged just above 15 minutes of ice time per game, since returning from a torn achilles, but will have to play just a little bit more tonight.

With Elias’ absence, Adam Henrique has been bumped up to the first powerplay unit with Parise, Clarkson, Kovalchuk and Foster.

This also means that Ryan Carter will center the third line, and Tim Sestito, who has been scratched the past two games, will center the fourth line.

Against the Rangers:

The Devils are 78-70-27-1 all-time versus the Rangers, and are 50-31-7-0 when playing in New Jersey.

Patrik Elias is the leading scorer for the Devils against the Rangers with 61 points (18 goals, 43 assists) in 69 games played.

With Elias’ absence tonight, the active Devil with the most points against the Rangers is Ilya Kovalchuk with 36 points (19 goals, 17 assists) in 38 games played.

David Clarkson leads active Devils in average penalty minutes per game against the Rangers. Currently he has 53 PIM in only 23 games against the Blue Shirts.

Starting goaltender, Martin Brodeur, is 43-26-20 in his career against the Rangers with a 2.13 GAA.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Zajac – Zubrus

Tedenby - Carter – Clarkson
Boulton – Sestito – Janssen

Salvador – Larsson
Volchenkov – Foster
Taormina – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

The Latest on the New York Rangers:

In the Rangers latest game, on Saturday, Brad Richards scored a goal with less than a second left in regulation to give the Rangers a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. In the game, Marian Gaborik scored the other two Rangers goals to give him a team lead of 17 on the season (which is 6th in the NHL). Those two goals also marked career goals 299 and 300 for Gaborik.

However the injury plague keeps striking the Rangers. In what might make good TV for HBO’s 24/7, the Rangers are now playing without three of their top six defensemen. Steve Eminger suffered a shoulder injury during the game on Saturday, and he will now join Mike Sauer (concussion) and Mark Staal (concussion) on the injured list. If it couldn’t get any worse, Jeff Woywitka may not be able to play in tonight’s game against the Devils due to a sore foot.

Rookies Stu bickel and Tim Erixon have been recalled from the Connecticut Whale to fill in.

Projected Rangers Lineup: 

Anisimov – Stepan – Gaborik
Dubinsky – Richards (A) – Callahan (C)
Hagelin – Boyle – Mitchell
Rupp – Fedotenko – Prust

McDonagh – Girardi (A)
Del Zotto – Stralman
Erixon – Bickel

Lundqvist
Biron

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Posted on December 20, 2011, in Devils Army, Game Preview, New Jersey Devils, NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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