A Rivalry Renewed: Devils take on Rangers at MSG

imageMatchup Overview:
The rivalry is back. The winless New Jersey Devils take on the New York Rangers today at 1:00 p.m at Madison Square Garden. The Devils enter this game coming off their first point. They lost in a shootout to the San Jose Sharks on Friday. The Devils remain as one of three teams have not won. They look to get their first win this afternoon against a formidable Rangers team. The Rangers are coming off of a shutout loss to the Montreal Canadiens. They hold a record of 3-2-0 and currently hold the 3rd spot in the Metropolitan division. They will be a tough opponent but both teams will be amped up and ready for this interdivisional battle.

Keys to the Game:
What the Devils will need to do is try to limit the speed of the Rangers. Rick Nash and Chris Kreider both posses the ability to blow by defensemen. It is up to the Devil’s defensive core to attempt to limit these players chances on the rush. Size will also be an issue as most of the Ranger’s forwards are larger. Kreider, Nash, and Hayes are all bigger and will be tough to knock off the puck. Being able to match their physicality will be key to the Devils success. The Rangers obviously have much more skill than the Devils so it will be a tough task to keep them off the scoreboard.
Offensively the Devils will need to try to attack early and often to take the crowd out of the game. They must control play and try to gain as much possession time as they can. As the old saying goes “You can’t score goals if you don’t have the puck”. Limiting penalties will also be important. This early stretch of games has shown the Devils are lacking in the discipline department. If they can limit their penalties, especially late in the game, it will put them in a better position to win. Another struggle will be breaking through the Rangers stellar defense. The Devils lack the true offensive superstar so their best course of action is to try to get a “greasy” goal. Throw pucks at the net and get traffic in front of Henrik Lundqvist.

Players to Watch:
Devils: Adam Henrique. The noted Ranger killer will be looking to stay hot on this cold October morning. Scoring 2 goals in his last 3 games he will be looking to build off of these positive performances.

Rangers: Oscar Lindberg. The Swedish rookie has been on fire this season. The current leading goal scorer on the Rangers has begun his career with 4 goals in 5 games. He will be a tough assignment for whatever defensive pair he faces today.
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Prediction:
This game will be hard fought but the gap in talent will be too much for our Devils to overcome. We will have a couple of good scoring chances but a stronger Rangers team will be able to control the play. Devils fall to the Rangers 3-2. The Devils first win will have to wait.

Watch on MSG
1:00 p.m

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