Pregame Analysis

Rangers Meet Devils in Hudson River Rivalry

After a tough defeat Tuesday night against the Flyers, the Rangers play another metropolitan division rival in the New Jersey Devils (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

The Flyers got an early goal from Oskar Lindblom which would be the lone goal of the contest. Alex Georgiev made 18 saves on 19 shots. Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz pitched a 38 save shutout. The Rangers also lost Brett Howden due to a knee sprain.

“It’s going to be hard for him,” said head coach David Quinn. “I thought he got off to a good start last night as well, I thought the break was going to do him a lot of good, and it certainly looked like it did early on.”

With the Rangers only dressing eleven forwards and Howden leaving the game in the first period, Kevin Hayes played over 22 minutes in his return in his first game since January 2nd.

“He played a lot of minutes, which certainly wasn’t the plan, but obviously when we lost Brett that changed the plan,” Quinn said. I thought he did a good job.

“We’re obviously not happy with the result, but I think we can keep building off of this,” said Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad saw his five-game point streak snapped Tuesday night.

“You can play a good game and get zero points and play a bad game and get two points. I think those games happen, unfortunately, during the year for pretty much every team in the league,” Kevin Shattenkirk said after Wednesday practice. “So we were on the wrong side of it. But again, I think the important thing is that we woke up today and we knew we did a lot of things well.”

Tonight, the Rangers will play the New Jersey Devils for the first time this season. The Rangers are expecting to get Mats Zuccarello back who missed Tuesday’s game with a foot infection.

“I feel good, it’s just hurting a little bit,” said Zuccarello

In addition, Quinn will faceoff with longtime friend and Devils head coach John Hynes. They coached together with the U.S. National Team Development Program and in the World Champions. They were also once roommates too.

The Rangers will turn to Henrik Lundqvist to get the bounce back win. Lundqvist is currently on a three-game win streak. Keith Kinkaid, who made 37 saves in a winning effort against the Penguins on Monday night, will make his 33rd start of the season tonight.

Devils superstar Taylor Hall, who missed the all-star game due to injury, will likely not dress for tonight’s contest. Kyle Palmieri, who replaced Hall in the all-star game, has registered 39 points this year.

With Zuccarello likely to be available tonight, he will return to the top line with Kreider and Zibanejad. Pavel Buchnevich will likely draw back into the lineup on the fourth line. And Neal Pionk will be reunited with Marc Staal.

Projected Lineup:

Kreider-Zibanejad-Zuccarello

Vesey-Hayes-Fast

Chytil-Strome-Namestnikov

McLeod-Nieves-Buchnevich

Staal-Pionk

Skjei-McQuaid

Smith/DeAngelo – Shattenkirk

Lundqvist

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