The preseason continues, with the Devils visiting Our Hated Rivals in Madison Square Garden for the 4th preseason game of the week.
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (2 - 1 - 0) at the New York Rangers (1-0-0; SBN Blog: Blueshirt Banter)
The Time: 7:00 PM EDT
The Broadcast: TV - MSG, MSG2, MSG Plus and MSGPlus2
The Last Devils Game: The Devils were shut out 2-0 by the Flyers. Through the first period, it looked as if the Devils would dominate, owning possession and consistently pinning the Flyers in their own zone. However, the Flyers then dominated in the second, and never looked back.
This loss shouldn’t mean much for the regular season perspective, as it was mostly filled with AHL-bound players.
The Last Rangers Game: On Tuesday night, the Rangers defeated the Islanders with the score of 5-2. New acquisitions Mika Zibanejad, Brandon Pirri and Adam Clendening combined for 7 points, with Chris Kreider recording a goal and an assist as well. Zibanejad opened the scoring, with follow up goals by Kreider, Pirri, Dylan McIlrath, and Dan Girardi. Overall, the lineup for the Rangers in that game looked very strong, with every player except Jimmy Vesey, Pavel Buchnevich, Robin Kovacs, Malte Stromwall, and Mat Bodie having appeared in at least one NHL game.
The Rangers lineup: As reported by Steve Zipay, the roster for the Rangers will look like this:
Jimmy Vesey - Kevin Hayes - Rick Nash
Nathan Gerbe - Brandon Pirri - Pavel Buchnevich
Michael Grabner - Marek Hrivik - Jesper Fast
Adam Tambellini - Maxim Lapierre - Nicklas Jensen
Nick Holden - Kevin Klein
Ryan Graves - Chris Summers
John Gilmour - Dylan McIlrath
Antti Raanta - Mackenzie Skapski
The Devils Lineup: Players and lines for the game have not been released yet, and will likely be released later in the day. However, based on the lineup for the Flyers game, it is likely to experience more NHL-ready players.
As mentioned by John, Cory Schneider and Kyle Palmieri both will not play. Parring further news, it is likely Reid Boucher will not start as well.
Fighting for a spot?: I can see Yohann Auvitu, Brandon Gormley, Vojtech Mozik and Steve Santini all playing in this game. With the signing of Kyle Quincey, the Devils defensemen who are pretty much confirmed to make the roster are Andy Greene, Damon Severson, John Moore, Jon Merrill, Ben Lovejoy and Quincey. That leaves the aforementioned four, and Seth Helgeson, to fight for what is likely one remaining spot.
On the forwards side, Blake Coleman, Nick Lappin, Blake Pietila, Pavel Zacha, and Luke Gazdic are likely to appear. From what I see, Beau Bennett, Reid Boucher, Michael Cammalleri, Vernon Fiddler, Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Jacob Josefson, Sergey Kalinin, Kyle Palmieri, Devonte Smith-Pelly, and Travis Zajac are the only players who are practically confirmed to get spots. Depending on Elias’s decision, it is likely that the aforementioned five, plus Joseph Blandisi, Miles Wood and John Quenneville will be fighting for two open spots.
Just try not to get injured: Other than for a few players, these games don’t matter. It’s just the preseason. As long as players don’t get injured, and the Devils don’t play completely terribly, the results don’t matter.
Opinions: For those reading, let me know what I could add, or what you liked that I wrote, for future use. Also, I encourage comments regarding anyone’s opinion on Devils matter, and thank you for reading.