(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers hope to begin their longest home
stretch of the season on a positive note when they welcome the struggling New
Jersey Devils for Saturday's Metropolitan Division battle at Madison Square
The Blueshirts began the 2013-14 season on a nine-game road trip from Oct.
3-26 while the Garden was undergoing major renovations. New York went 3-6-0 on
that swing, but hopes to do much better during this homestand of the same
length. However, the Rangers are just 5-6-0 as the host this season compared
to a 10-8-0 mark on the road.
This homestand will run through the Christmas break, as the Rangers aren't
scheduled to play another road game until they visit Washington on Dec. 27.
The Devils have won both meetings against the Rangers this season, notching a
4-0 home win on Oct. 19 before recording a 3-2 regulation decision at MSG on
Nov. 12. New York had won four in a row on home ice in this series before last
month's loss to the Devils.
With 30 points, the Rangers are tied with Washington for third place in the
Metro Division, while the Devils are two points behind in a tie with
New York enters Saturday having won two of its last three games and the club
is coming off Thursday's 3-1 win in Buffalo. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves to
help anchor the victory at First Niagara Center.
The Rangers No. 1 goalie almost turned in a shutout on Thursday, but a
stickhandling miscue led to a late goal for the Sabres. Lundqvist, after
agreeing to a seven-year contract extension on Wednesday, was working on his
third shutout of the season when his failed clear led to a Tyler Ennis goal
with 2:06 remaining in the third period.
Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Rangers.
"There wasn't a lot of room," said Vigneault. "They play a really solid
defensive game and we made them pay in the first period with a controlled
The Rangers, who will host Washington tomorrow evening, have lost four of
their last five home games.
New Jersey will try to halt a three-game slide when it kicks off a three-game
road trip on Saturday. The Devils were in action Friday night against visiting
Detroit and dropped a 3-1 decision to lose for the sixth time in eight
The Devils only managed to send 11 shots on net in last night's loss against
the Red Wings and Jimmy Howard stopped 10 of them to hold New Jersey to one
goal. It was the lowest shot total of the season for the Devils.
Andy Greene scored the only goal of the game for New Jersey, while Cory
Schneider allowed all three goals on 21 shots.
"We did some good things moving the puck but we just couldn't get any shots
through on net," said Schneider. "If we could have got that second one it
would have been big, but they played tough."
Martin Brodeur will get the start in net for the Devils on Saturday. The
future Hall of Famer is 48-30-5 with 15 ties and a superb 2.13 goals against
average in 98 career games against the Rangers.
Lundqvist also has terrific career numbers against the Devils, going 28-14-5
with a 1.84 GAA in 47 lifetime tilts in this series.
The Sports Network