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Rangers stumble in New Jersey without Staal and Miller; Hrivik records first career point

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Devils 2-23

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

On the first game of their three game road trip, Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant but the Rangers (34-20-6) were dominated by the New Jersey Devils (30-24-7) for the last 40 minutes, losing 5-2 and losing their third game this season to their rivals in Newark.

This game had everything. Lots of action and scoring chances early on, some great performances from each of the goaltenders, and goals galore. Plus an ejection for having tape too low on the hands (more on that later).

The Rangers wound up being without Marc Staal in this game after he tweaked something in his lower body. Brady Skjei was recalled from Hartford and he played pretty darn well, logging over 22 minutes of ice time. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers look to maintain winning ways against the Devils, Lundqvist looking for 30th win

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Devils 2-2

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Following a tense overtime victory over the Red Wings, the Rangers (34-19-6) kick off a three game road trip tonight as they head to Newark to take on the rival New Jersey Devils (29-24-7) for the third time in the past three weeks.

Kevin Klein scored the overtime winner on Sunday off of an excellent feed from Kevin Hayes, who probably should have had a goal of his own earlier in the game. Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 22 shots to pick up the win, which put the Rangers at 7-1-1 in their last nine games, as well as two in a row. Their lead over the Islanders is not up to five points, and they’re holding off some of the surging division foes.

The Devils looked like they’d be a playoff team early on, but their starting to slow down a bit, losing to the Capitals on Saturday for their third straight defeat. They sit three points behind the Penguins for the last Wild Card spot despite playing two more games than them. The Devils are also just 8-11-2 against the Metropolitan Division, with two of them coming against the Rangers. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers look to start the second half strong in a division battle against the Devils

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Devils 10-18

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

With the All Star Weekend in the rear view mirror, the Rangers (27-17-5) focus shifts to a battle for the playoffs. Thirty-three games spanning the next 68 days. Fifteen of those will come against Metropolitan Division opponents, including tonight’s matchup against the New Jersey Devils (25-20-5).

At this same point last season, there were six teams in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Rangers, but they had a comfortable eight point playoff cushion. This year, only six teams in the NHL have more points than the Rangers. But in a much more competitive Metropolitan Division, and a tight East, the playoff cushion is just four games.

The Rangers have reason to feel confident though. In the last 10 weeks of last regular season, Alain Vigneault’s squad went 25-7-3 and secured the President’s trophy with their play after March. These last 33 games are incredibly important, especially since many of the games come against Division foes looking to take over the Rangers playoff spot. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers drop third straight game in overtime to the lowly Devils

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Devils 10-18

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The tough times keep coming for Alain Vigneault and the Blueshirts.

Despite having more possession, more scoring chances, and playing a stronger game overall, the Rangers (3-2-1) lost their third consecutive game, handing the New Jersey Devils their first lead of the season and their first win.

The Rangers dominated the first period, with more shots on goal (9-6), more shot attempts (19-8), and taking the lead just over three minutes into the game. Oscar Lindberg stole the puck in the Rangers defensive zone and carried it up the ice before saucering a pass across the ice to Derek Stepan. Stepan made an excellent deke to open up Schneider before slotting it between his legs for his third goal of the season.

The Rangers wound up controlling the rest of this period. Oscar Lindberg created some excellent chances, connecting on a few more impressive passes, but nobody was finishing their chances. Viktor Stalberg also had a superb period, winning a lot of puck battles and leading the team in possession and hits after 40 minutes. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers aim to end brief skid with new lineup against the Devils

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs devils 4-4

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After two pretty disappointing efforts and the first two losses of the season, the Rangers (3-2-0) will look to end their goalless drought as they return home to take on the New Jersey Devils (0-3-1), who are searching for their first win.

The Rangers left Montreal empty-handed despite an excellent performance from Henrik Lundqvist, mainly due to their inability to sustain pressure as well as the play of the Montreal defenders and Carey Price.

While they’ll now be taking on a winless team in the Devils, the Rangers will still match up against a very good goaltender. Cory Schneider will be in between the pipes for the Devils, making just his third start of the season. Schneider made 34 saves in a shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks.

The Devils have had a lot of trouble scoring goals so far, finding the back of the net just six times in the first four games. Mike Cammalleri is their leading scorer with a goal and two assists, and three players are tied for second with two points, including former Ranger Lee Stempniak. Read the rest of this entry