Game 31 Preview: Rangers at DevilsDecember 20, 2011, by
Standings: Devils (18-13-1), Rangers (18-8-4)
Leading Scorer: Patrick Elias (13-16-29)
Goaltender: Martin Brodeur (18 GP, 3.08 GAA, .890 SV%)
Rangers Lines (probable):
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.
Scratches/Injuries: Marc Staal (concussion symptoms), Wojtek Wolski (groin), Mike Sauer (concussion), Sean Avery (healthy), Erik Christensen (healthy), Tim Erixon healthy)/Jeff Woywitka (foot – game time decision)
Preview: As much as you can say the Rangers are lucky that they are catching a Devils team without Patrick Elias or Henrik Tallinder, they are also unlucky as three defensemen are out long term with significant injuries, and a fourth is a game time decision. The makeshift defense of the Rangers is going to have some trouble with the Zach Parise/Adam Henrique/Ilya Kovalchuk line, espeically with the Devils having last change tonight. The offense is likely going to have to carry the Rangers for the next week while the Rangers deal with injuries, but the goaltenders are going to be feeling the pressure as well.
Outside of that top line, the Devils don’t have much depth on offense. Only Petr Sykora and Dainius Zubrus are remotely close to 20 points outside of the top line (not including Elias, who is out tonight). However, the Devils finally have Travis Zajac back, who will be playing in just his third game this season. The Devils and the Rangers always play each other tough, so expect some tempers to boil over. Brodeur also shows up for games against the Rangers, so despite his terrible year, don’t expect softies from him.
Crazy Thought: The Rangers score three powerplay goals.
Opponent’s Blog: Pucks And Pitchforks
Game time tonight is 7pm on MSG, AM1050 and XM214.