The New Jersey Devils are hot going into this week, winning 6 of their last 7 games. Which is one of the main reasons why I have the Devils in this week’s top 5 power rankings. Tonight will be a true test for them against the New York Rangers, at home.
A dramatic, last second victory may have given the New York Rangers renewed momentum.
Riding a four game winning streak, the New Jersey Devils have plenty already.
The local rivals meet for the first time this season Tuesday night in New Jersey.
Brad Richards scored with one tenth of a second left in regulation to give New York (18-8-4) a 3-2 win at Phoenix on Saturday. The innocuous back-handed shot was originally deemed after the horn, but video review showed it crossed the goal line with time remaining.
Prior to the dramatics in Phoenix, the Rangers had dropped four of six since a 12-2-0 run.
New York will try to carry its newfound momentum into the first game of the season series with the Devils (18-13-1). The Rangers took four of six last season, including two of three in Newark.
New Jersey is trying to win five straight for the first time since an eight game run Feb. 6-22.
The Devils extended their current streak to a season high four games Saturday, winning 5-3 at Montreal behind two goals from Patrick Elias, who became the franchise’s all time leader with 348.
Elias also leads the Devils this season with 13 goals and 29 points, including four goals and two assists over his last four games. However, he managed only one assist against the Rangers last season.
Brodeur is scheduled to start for New Jersey. He wasn’t very sharp against New York in 2010-11, losing three of four starts with a 2.77 goals-against average. He’s trying to win three starts in a row for the first time this season after stopping 37 of 52 shots over the last two games.
Brodeur will have to contend with Marian Gaborik, who scored twice Saturday to increase his season total to 17 goals. Eleven of those have come on the road, including five over his last six away games with five ending in Rangers victories.
Gaborik has yet to score a goal in five visits to Prudential Center as a Ranger.
New York learned Monday that defenseman Steve Eminger will be out at least eight weeks with a shoulder injury, suffered Saturday when he was hit behind the net by Phoenix’s Martin Hanzel.
Eminger joins Marc Staal and Michael Sauer (both concussions) as Rangers blue liners who are out for an extended period.
The Rangers have called up Stu Bickel from Connecticut of the AHL to replace Eminger and make his NHL debut. Bickel had one goal, three assists and 80 penalty minutes in 27 games in the minors.
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is 22-9-5 with a 1.85 GAA and five shutouts against New Jersey.
New York Rangers – Henrik Lundqvist
New Jersey Devils – Martin Brodeur
FREE PUCKING NHL PICK OF THE DAY:
With how the NJ Devils are finally clicking as a team and only a few points out of the top 5 in the East, you have to stick with the hot team right now, which is the Devils. I think the cameras are starting to get to the Rangers in the locker room, although they did win with 0.1 seconds left on the clock last time, Mike Smith of the Coyotes should have saved that very easy shot.
NJ Devils -105 (1 UNIT)
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