(SportsNetwork.com) – The New Jersey Devils hope to get back on track Tuesday
when they welcome the rival New York Rangers for a Metropolitan Division
battle at Prudential Center.
The Devils began the season 3-0 before losing their next two games by a
combined margin of 10-4.
New Jersey won three straight on the road to kick off 2014-15, but ended its
season-opening trip with Thursday’s 6-2 loss in Washington. On Saturday, the
Devils dropped a 4-2 decision in their home opener against the San Jose
The Devils found themselves trailing the Sharks 3-0 in the early stages of the
third period before cutting the deficit to 3-2 with just under eight minutes
remaining in regulation. New Jersey, however, was unable to notch the tying
goal before Joe Thornton sealed the San Jose victory with an empty-netter with
Cory Schneider started in net for the Devils, marking the first time a
goaltender other than Martin Brodeur started a home opener for the club since
1993. Brodeur was not re-signed by New Jersey over the summer and is still on
the unemployment line.
Schneider finished with 29 saves on 32 shots in Saturday’s setback, while Mike
Cammalleri and Adam Henrique scored in the loss. Cammalleri has five goals and
two assists on the season, his first with the Devils after joining the club on
a five-year, $25 million deal in the offseason.
“I thought we had some good looks, but in the end we didn’t get it done,” said
Devils winger Martin Havlat is questionable for Tuesday’s tilt after sitting
out Saturday with facial lacerations. Havlat sustained the cuts in last week’s
game in Washington when Capitals forward Jason Chimera shoved him into referee
The Rangers hope to pick up where they left off against the Devils last season
when the clubs renew hostilities tonight. New Jersey won the first three
meetings against the Rangers in 2013-14, but the Blueshirts posted a 7-3 win
in an outdoor game at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26 before handing the Devils a
2-0 setback at Prudential Center on March 22.
New York also hopes to win its third consecutive game on Tuesday after
following a three-game slide with recent wins against Carolina and San Jose.
The Sharks visited the Rangers a day after beating the Devils, but New York
routed San Jose by a 4-0 count on Sunday. Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves to
post his first shutout of the young season, and New York ripped home three
goals in just over six minutes late in the second period to down the Sharks at
Madison Square Garden.
Lundqvist expects to start tonight and is 30-14-6 with a 1.87 goals against
average and .932 save percentage against the Devils. Schneider is 1-1-0 with a
.86 GAA and .968 save percentage in his three lifetime appearances versus the
Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash combined to tally four seconds apart late in
the middle stanza for the Rangers. Carl Hagelin and Kevin Hayes also lit the
lamp, with Dominic Moore adding a pair of assists. Hayes, a rookie out of
Boston College, notched his first NHL goal.
“It felt like our best complete effort,” said Nash. “We got some bounces, but
it seemed like a strong effort for the full 60 (minutes).”
Nash is off to a red-hot start for the Rangers and is leading the NHL with
New York could be without Dan Girardi, who is questionable for Tuesday’s test
due to a cut on his leg. The Rangers defenseman sustained the laceration while
blocking a shot in Sunday’s win. Girardi will likely be replaced in the lineup
by Michael Kostka if he can’t go tonight.
Girardi’s fellow defenseman Kevin Klein expects to play Tuesday despite
getting hit in the jaw with a shot in the closing second of Sunday’s tilt. He
suffered a cut which required stitches, but Klein was able to practice Monday.