After extending their point streak to ten games with a shootout win against the Blue Jackets, the Blueshirts travel across the Hudson for the beginning of a four-game road trip (7:00PM on MSG2).
After capping off a thrilling comeback against the Blue Jackets in style. Alexis Lafreniere was the hero against Columbus with two goals and the lone goal in the shootout. New York found the tying goal with ten seconds to go through Lafreniere. The former first overall pick has seven points in the past four games. Jonathan Quick made the start and he continued his strong play to start the season making 25 saves including stopping some A+ chances.
New York Rangers vs Devils
Saturday night’s game will mark the first meeting of meaningful hockey between the two teams since the playoffs last season where New Jersey came out on top in seven games.
New York will be playing their first game since this past Sunday after having five days off. To try and avoid rust, the Blueshirts have been scrimmaging amongst themselves. With players having some bumps and bruises, getting the rest in the schedule will hopefully bring them closer to 100%. The question is will the rest play a key role against New Jersey or could they find themselves rusty after the break?
The Rangers will continue to be without Adam Fox who remains on the LTIR. Fox has to miss a minimum of the next six games before he is eligible to return. However, it does appear that Igor Shesterkin’s return could be as early as Saturday night. The Blueshirts netminder hasn’t played since November 2nd and he has missed the past four games. After practice, head coach Peter Laviolette told the media he has no restrictions and he has had no setbacks.
Ryan Lindgren suffered an upper-body injury against the Blue Jackets, but he appears ready to go in New Jersey.
“I’m good,” Lindgren said after Friday practice. “It was nothing too crazy.”
Filip Chytil remains out of the lineup as he has not resumed skating since suffering a concussion. No timeline is in place for the Czech’s return.
The Devils appear to be welcoming back Jack Hughes to the lineup. Hughes last played on November 3rd after falling awkwardly into the boards. The Devils’ start center was leading the league in points with 20 prior to getting injured. The Orlando native was a full participant in practice on Friday. Jesper Bratt now leads the Devils in points with 22.
Like the Rangers, New Jersey won’t be at 100% as they too have injuries to two key forwards. Timo Meier is currently out with an undisclosed injury and head coach Lindy Ruff told the media on Friday “he’s still out.” The Devils acquired the Swiss forward at the trade deadline last season and they re-signed him to a long-term extension in the offseason.
In addition to Meier, Devils captain Nico Hischier is expected to not be available. Hischier is dealing with an upper-body injury after taking a shot to the head by Buffalo’s Connor Clifton. Ruff said “there is no definitive timeline and that they are taking it day-by-day.”
Artemi Panarin will be looking to rewrite the record books as he has started the season with a point in each of the Rangers first 14 games. This ties the franchise record with Rod Gilbert and on Saturday, he can break the record and extend his point streak to 15 games with a point against the Devils.
The Bet of the Night: The bet of the night is for Lafreniere to record over 0.5 points at +110 odds on DraftKings. Lafreniere has plus odds and is currently playing some of the best hockey of his career – so let us ride with the hot hand. He also will be skating on a line with Panarin who will be looking to make history in New Jersey. The $5 bet will pay $10.50 if it hits.
Last bet: The last pick was for Erik Gustafsson to record a power-play point against the Wild which did not come through.
Current record: 5-2
Current Money Total (Based on $5 bets) – We are up $34.30 on the season