New Jersey Devils vs New York Rangers: Predictions

How to Watch

Where: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY.

When: Saturday, February 23, 1PM EST.

How (TV/Radio): MSG and MSG+ | WFAN.

New Jersey Devils (Away)

Head Coach: John Hynes {All-Time 133-134-39 NJD}

The Devils roster (and their faceoff statistics) suffered another loss earlier in the week as they lost center Pavel Zacha to an upper-body injury. Although he is only listed as day-to-day, he is not expected to be on the ice this Saturday when New Jersey takes on the Rangers. The Devils are currently ranked 23rd in the league in faceoffs.

New Jersey has also been abysmal on the road, and although the Rangers’ overall record leaves much to be desired, Madison Square Garden has been no easy place to play for their opponents. On the road this season, the Devils have gone just 8-19-3. At home, the Rangers have gone 15-9-6.

New Jersey’s main advantages come on the defensive end. The Devils allow fewer shots against. They rank 19th in the league in that statistic. And should the Devils find themselves in the penalty box, their third-overall penalty kill should be able to handle what the Rangers powerplay throws at them. The Devils score more goals on average than the Rangers but that may not be the case going up against such an elite goaltender in Henrik Lunqvist.

A surprise here is that even though goaltender Corey Schneider has seemed to have found his legs, it is expected that Keith Kinkaid will get the start against the Rangers. Kinkaid has gone 15-18-6 so far this season with a goals against average of 3.36. His save percentage is .891 and he has three shutouts so far this season.

New York Rangers (Home)

Head Coach: David Quinn {All-Time 26-25-8 NYR}

The New York Rangers have played respectable hockey over their last ten games going 5-4-1. The team has shined at home, which is a big advantage going into this game.

However, this may come down to a battle of goaltending, which is another one of the Rangers’ advantages. Henrik Lundqvist may face quite a workload as the Devils rank higher in the league in both goals scored and shots for over the Rangers. The Rangers have a better shooting percentage than New Jersey, and a better powerplay (13th in the league), and will have to find a way to keep New Jersey’s young, speedy offense in check.

All-star Henrik Lundqvist is expected to be between the pipes for the Rangers in this matchup. Lundqvist is 17-15-8 on the season with a goals against average of 2.97 and a save percentage of .909. However, the once touted phenom has yet to register a shutout this season.

The New York Rangers last faced off against the New Jersey on January 31, defeating the Devils with a final score of 4-3.

What’s At Stake?

The Rangers hold a six point lead of the Devils in the Eastern conference standings. With 60 points as of the time of writing, it seems if either of these teams were to manage a run to the playoffs, it would be the Rangers. Expect them to play with some extra fire against their division rivals. They are nine points back from the final wild card spot.

The New Jersey Devils currently have 54 points on the season – 15 points back of that final wild card spot in the East.

Questions to answer

Can either of these teams still manage to claw their way into the playoffs?

How big of a factor will road/home play be? Will the New Jersey Devils crumble under the pressure that is playing at Madison Square Garden?

Can Devils’ started Keith Kinkiad keep up with the future hall of famer Henrik Lundqvist that will be playing opposite him?

New Jersey Devils Injury Report

F Pavel Zacha – day-to-day (upper-body).

D Sami Vatanen – IR (concussion).

F Stefan Noesen – IR (lower-body).

F Taylor Hall – IR (lower-body).

New York Rangers Injury Report

D Neal Pionk – day-to-day (eye).

F Brett Howden – day-to-day (sprained MCL).

New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.