The Rangers and the Devils will do battle for the final time this season as they conclude a four-game set (3:00 P.M. ET, MSG2).
|Rangers||East Division Ranks /8||Devils|
The broomsticks are out as the Rangers look to sweep the four-game set against the Devils and finish the season 6-2-0 against New Jersey. Saturday afternoon, the Blueshirts jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but they sat back and the Devils got themselves back into the game and made the score 4-3. The Rangers would get two empty-net goals and put an end to the Devils comeback. Pavel Buchnevich scored a birthday hat trick to help lead the Rangers to victory.
Igor Shesterkin recorded his third straight win and he also broke the franchise record for the longest shutout streak against one opponent with 199:33 shutout minutes against the Devils. Shesterkin made 30 saves in a winning effort. Shesterkin currently holds a .925 save percentage and if he can keep it – he would break Henrik Lundqvist’s record (.922) for the best save percentage among rookie goalies in franchise history.
Mika Zibanejad will celebrate his 28th birthday today and he will look to have a performance like Buchnevich did on Saturday. Zibanejad is currently on a five-game point streak as he continues to heat up and help the Rangers make a playoff charge.
The Rangers still find themselves four points back of the final playoff spot with the Boston Bruins continuing to win. Rangers fans will have eyes on the Bruins vs Capitals game that is set to be concluded prior to the Rangers taking the ice. If the Capitals can defeat the Bruins, the Blueshirts could move to within two points of Boston for the final playoff position.
The Devils are still expected to be without their top two scorers in Jesper Bratt and Pavel Zacha. Zacha has yet to play in any of the three previous games against the Rangers while Bratt played in the first game. Barring some late developments, both are expected to miss the season finale for the Devils.
MacKenzie Blackwood is expected to get the start for the Devils. Blackwood was defeated in the first two games and had the day off on Saturday. The 24-year-old has now lost four straight games against the Rangers.
Alex Georgiev will likely be given the nod for the Rangers. Georgiev was solid during his last start against the Islanders in a 4-1 win. Shesterkin has played the last four games, but with the second of a back-to-back, Georgiev may be the preferred goalie.
The Blueshirts are expected to stick with the same lineup that was victorious in the previous three meetings. Zac Jones isn’t expected to debut barring some unusual development.