Rangers aiming to clinch the President’s Trophy tonight in New Jersey
After an amazing comeback win last night, the Rangers (51-21-7) are back at it again tonight, heading to New Jersey to take on the Devils (32-34-13) for the fourth and final time this season, with New York looking to sweep the season series and extend their four game win streak.
A win tonight would give the Rangers 111 points, which would be good enough to clinch both the Eastern Conference title as well as the President’s trophy, a huge advantage for a team looking to make another long run in the playoffs. New York is one win shy of tying their franchise record in wins (53), and three points shy of tying their franchise record in points (112). Both of those record were set in the 1993-94 season, the year that the Rangers won the Stanley Cup.
This is the last game between these two cross-river rivals this season, with the Rangers winning the previous three by a 13-5 margin. They played as recently as Saturday, when the Rangers dominated play en route to a 6-1 win. Henrik Lundqvist was phenomenal, finishing with 35 saves. The Rangers got goals from Rick Nash, Keith Yandle, Derick Brassard, Derek Stepan, and two goals from Dominic Moore.
The Devils haven’t played since Saturday, and will go with the same lineup tonight, which means Cory Schneider will be in net for New Jersey. Although he has had a very strong season, Schneider has not fared well against the Rangers this season, posting an 0-2-1 record. Schneider was pulled on Saturday after just 12 minutes, allowing three goals on six shots against. The Devils have lost seven of their last eight games (1-5-2), and Schneider will have to be strong if they want to win at home on fan appreciation night.
Mike Cammalleri is one of the most important players on a New Jersey team that doesn’t generate a lot of offense, and he is the leading goal scorer by far. Cammalleri has 27 goals this season, which is 11 more than the second leading goal scorer, Adam Henrique. In the 32 Devils wins this season, Cammalleri has scored the game winning goal eight times, representing 25 percent of the wins. Needless to say, Cammalleri is important to New Jersey’s success, and the Rangers will need to keep an eye out for him.
After winning the Steven McDonald award for extra effort last night, Cam Talbot will be back in net for the Rangers as they look to take home the President’s trophy for the first time in 21 years. Talbot stepped up big-time when Lundqvist was injured, posting a 16-4-3 record in his absence. Talbot will be making his first start since March 29th, a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. After winning the award, Talbot may have some extra motivation to help the Rangers clinch home ice throughout the playoffs.
Last night, Derek Stepan scored the game tying goal with 27.5 seconds remaining in regulation, and then won the game in overtime, capping off a huge three point night for him. Stepan has five points (3-2-5) in his last two games, and 12 points (5-7-12) in the last nine games. His line, with Kreider and Miller on the wings, has been one of the Rangers best and most effective lines for the past few weeks.
Over the past couple of games, the growth of the Rangers fourth line has been very noticeable. Last night’s game was one of the best performances from the fourth line in a while. Dominic Moore is one of the hardest working players on the team, and Tanner Glass has been a lot more involved as well. Jesper Fast continues his solid all around play as well. Glass and Dominic Moore came really close to scoring yesterday, but Bobrovsky was strong in net for Columbus. Moore had two goals in the last game against the Devils, and I think the fourth line will have another strong performance again tonight.
Despite Cam Talbot in net, there are no expected changes to the Rangers lineup. Kevin Klein will be reevaluated tomorrow, and could return to the lineup as soon as Thursday night.
The Rangers and the Devils will face off at the Prudential Center at 7 PM. The game will be broadcasted on MSG Network.
EXPECTED LINES (Not Confirmed)
Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-JT Miller
Carl Hagelin-Kevin Hayes-Martin St. Louis
Tanner Glass-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Dan Boyle
Keith Yandle-Matt Hunwick
Posted on April 7, 2015, in Game Previews and tagged Alain Vigneault, Alain Vigneault coach of the year, Cam Talbot, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Coach of the Year, Columbus Blue Jackets, Cory Schneider, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Dominic Moore, Henrik Lundqvist, Jack Adams Award, James Sheppard, Jesper Fast, JT Miller, Keith Yandle, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, Mike Cammalleri, MSG, MSL, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NHL Coach of the Year, NY Rangers, NYR, Rangers, Rangers Nation, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Tanner Glass, The Ranger Zone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.