Fresh off two dominating wins, the Devils are in town to take on the Rangers with their playoff lives at stake. A Rangers win mathematically eliminates the Devils from playoff contention, which should give the Rangers even more incentive to come out strong. The Devils have Ilya Kovalchuk back, and they won’t go quietly. It’s up to the Rangers to keep their momentum going.
As for the Devils, they use two separate forechecking systems. In the early going the Devils play a 2-1-2 forecheck, but once the Devils get a lead, they switch forechecking strategies to a 1-2-2 hybrid trap. In the defensive zone, the Devils –much like the Rangers– play a shot-blocking collapsing box style. However, unlike the Rangers, the Devils’ wingers have the freedom to attack the point if the matchup is right (i.e.: When a slow-footed defenseman is out on the ice).
On special teams, the Devils and the Rangers are similar. The Devils play your standard umbrella powerplay, although unlike the Rangers, they will not switch to a 1-3-1 at specific times. On the penalty kill, the Devs play a rotation between a box and a diamond, depending on puck location and the setup of the opposition. Expect a diamond when the Rangers run an umbrella, and a box if the Rangers switch to a 1-3-1.
For more on Tortorella’s systems read here.
2012-2013 Records: Devils (17-17-10), Rangers (23-17-4)
NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (19-21-40)
NJD Leading Scorer: Patrik Elias (13-20-33)
Broadcast Info: NBC, 3pm
Torts’ post-practice interview from Saturday: