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Game Preview #3: New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

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New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (1-0-1) at New York Rangers (1-1-0)

The Time: 7:00 PM EST

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+

Our Hated Rivals

I’m sure most of us were overjoyed when the Rangers were decimated by the Islanders in their opening game. They were a team full of hype, with many shiny new toys. It felt like justice where, after all their offseason hype, they were exposed by a veteran Islanders team.

Their next game, however, showed why the hype is very real. In their second game in the series, the Rangers came back stronger than ever and bullied the Islanders to a 5-0 win. Artemi Panarin and Pavel Buchnevich both recorded two-goal games, while Kaapo Kakko opened his scoring in his sophomore season. Meanwhile, Georgiev reminded everyone that Shestyorkin isn’t the guy just yet, as he recorded the shutout for the team.

Devils Lines

The lines remain the same heading into the 3rd game.

Per Amanda Stein:

The lines remain intact for the 3rd game in a row - a good sign of change from the Hynes’ era, where lines wouldn’t remain intact for periods in a game. The kids are building chemistry together and learning how to play, which is always a good thing.

Of note - Hischier, Bratt and Vatanen are still not ready, as of yet. It’ll be interesting to see how the lines change as this occurs.

Rangers Lines

Per Rick Carpiniello:

As such, the lines will be as follows.

Kreider - Zibanejad - Buchnevich
Panarin - Strome - Lafreniere
Di Giuseppe - Chytil - Kakko
Lemieux - Howden - Gauthier

Lindgren - Trouba
Johnson - Fox
Miller - Smith

Georgiev

My Thoughts

Firstly, I think this Devils defense is soundly improved with the additions of Murray and Kulikov. Secondly, I’m still not in love with the idea of Tennyson in the top-six, but the results speak louder than my opinion. Lastly, I will say that I expect this game to play out differently than the two Bruins games, as the only real threats for the Bruins offensively were Marchand and Bergeron. The Buchnevich and Panarin lines have shown they are capable of damage, so the Devils will need to ensure they alleviate any lackadaisical or sloppy play, in order to ensure a good result.

On the Rangers side, Georgiev and Shesteryokin are the 1a and 1b that us Devils fans thought we had in Blackwood and Crawford. Also, the Rangers are similar to the Devils in that they’re letting the young guns get a chance to shine while simultaneously mixing in veteran talents.

Last note: I hope with all my being that we’re not the team that allows Lafreniere’s first NHL goal.

What will you be looking for in the the Devils tomorrow? What do you expect the result to be? Do you think this Rangers team is legit? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and take care!