The New Jersey Devils perfect season came to an end last night with their loss to the Washington Capitals. It’s still been an impressive start, as the Devils are 3-1-0, and third in the Eastern Conference. The same can’t be said for the New York Rangers. They’ve struggled with keeping the puck out of their net and are currently sitting at 1-4-0. This is the Devils first meeting with their cross-town rivals, so it’ll probably be an energetic and high-paced game despite both teams coming in on the second night of a back-to-back.
Keys to the Game
Last night, the Capitals were able to stifle the Devils by clogging the neutral zone and not allowing New Jersey’s speed to play a factor. If the Rangers can implement a similar strategy it could be another long night for the Devils.
Another key will be goaltending. The Devils have the advantage tonight, starting Keith Kinkaid versus Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec has consistently been one of the least-consistent and worst goaltenders in the NHL over the past couple seasons. If Kinkaid can put in a solid performance, the Devils big guns on offense should be able to take advantage of this matchup.
Players to Watch
Nico Hischier…He still hasn’t scored his first career goal. He’s played well through the first four games and has shown offensive skill; just hasn’t been able to find the back of the net. This would be a great time for Nico to finally bury one.
Pavel Buchnevich…One of the brighter spots of the Rangers future, Buchnevich is a highly skilled right wing. He was underutilized last season and if he continues to gain a larger role with the Rangers offense, he could break out this season.
The Devils have been hot out of the gate and the Rangers won’t be able to stifle their speed like the Capitals. Pavelec will look shaky and the Devils will take an early lead. Devils win 4-2