With the 2013-14 season looming closer, we’ll be taking a look at the new and old Division match-ups in the new formed Metropolitan Division in this weekly blog. In this final week before the NHL season starts, we look at our cross-river rivals, the New York Rangers.
With the new NHL realignment comes a new Division and new regular opponents for your New Jersey Devils. It also changes the way the Devils will interact with teams they’ve played against for decades now. New rivalries will form and some fire will be added to the old ones, so let’s take a look at how the 2013-14 season will look for the Devils within the new Metropolitan Division.
Your New Jersey Devils (19-18-10) will take the ice for the final time this season on Saturday afternoon, as they take on their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers (25-18-4) for the fourth time this season. The Devils are 1-2-0 against the Rangers this season, taking the first meeting by a score of 3-1, then losing the next two 3-2 and 4-1. The Rangers will look to move as high as 6th in the Eastern Conference standings, depending on the results of the last two games for the Ottawa Senators.
The Devils have been playing better as of late, but the one issue they are having that has not left them is the inability to finish scoring opportunities. That was very evident as the Devils fell to the Ranger 3-2 Tuesday night at The Rock.
A pretty wide open first period saw the score land at 2-2 at the end of it. The Rangers opened the scoring as Michael Del Zotto bunted a puck out of mid-air after Johan Hedberg (making his 13th straight start) fumbled the puck halfway up the boards. This was not the main reason for the goal but it put the Devils in a sort of panic and wound up leaving two Rangers right in front of Hedberg for the first goal. This is the 12th time in the last 14 games the Devils have given up the first goal. Giving up the first goal has been a big reason for the struggles the past month, you do not want to be chasing all of the time.
Your New Jersey Devils (4-1-3) will face-off against the New York Rangers (4-4-0) Tuesday for the first of four times this season, and the first time since the Now-Classic Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. Chances are, if you’re reading this, I don’t need to tell you how that game went down. During the regular season last year, the Devils split the season series with the Rangers (3-3-0) going 2-1-0 at the Prudential Center. Patrik Elias led the Devils in points (2G, 3A) while David Clarkson led the team in goals (3). After a 6-game series with the Rangers in the playoffs, the Devils finished 2011-12 with a 7-5-0 record against their cross-river rivals.