After a convincing 3-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Rangers will look for their third straight win in New Jersey (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).
Alex Georgiev had all the answers against the Flyers on Sunday afternoon. The 23-year-old recorded 29 saves on route to his second shutout of the season.
“It gave me a big confidence boost since we played a really good first period,” said Georgiev. “We knew they were coming hard in the second and tried to stay with it. Everyone played great.”
“We defended a lot better today,” said head coach David Quinn. We looked more structured. We did a pretty good job defensively and he [Georgiev] stood tall when he needed to.”
The Blueshirts got two late first period goals from Pavel Buchnevich and Ryan Strome. Buchnevich now has points in seven straight games and has hit the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career. Strome’s goal was his 18th of the season and he has goals in three straight games.
But Ranger players won’t have long to celebrate this win as they play Monday night in New Jersey. The Rangers have had a lot of success against the Devils this season. They have won all three meetings and have scored at least four goals in each game. Mika Zibanejad has registered eight points against the Devils this season. The Battle of the Hudson will serve as the home finale for the Devils.
Brendan Lemieux will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch against the Flyers. Quinn thought Lemieux could benefit from being a healthy scratch since he has played more minutes than he was accustomed too in Winnipeg. Lemieux’s father played parts of six seasons with the Devils.
The Devils have struggled with injuries all season and Monday night isn’t an exception. New Jersey will be without three key players: Kyle Palmieri, Taylor Hall and Sami Vatanen. They will also be without key depth players such as Jesper Bratt. The Devils leading scorer in tonight’s game is 20-year-old Nico Hischier. Hischier has 45 points in 66 games played. He missed 13 games due to injury this season.
Mackenzie Blackwood will get the start for the Devils. Blackwood holds a 8-10-0 record with a .916 save percentage. Blackwood has never faced the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist will get another crack at career win 450. Lundqvist’s last win came on March 9th against the Devils.
After taking four penalties in Philadelphia, Brendan Smith will be a healthy scratch for the Rangers. According to Quinn, Buchnevich is a game-time decision. Connor Brickley will draw into the lineup if Buchnevich can’t play.