For the first time since the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Hudson River Rivalry will be reborn.
The New Jersey Devils host the New York Rangers tonight at the Prudential Center. The Blueshirts come to town having won three straight games, padding their lead as the first-place team in the Metropolitan Division. The Devils, however, are hoping Tuesday night in Pittsburgh was the beginning of the turnaround they’ve been looking for.
The good news for New Jersey is Jack Hughes may very well be back. He’s a game-time decision. We know he doesn’t like to miss a matchup against the Devils’ No.1 rival.
Let’s dive into tonight’s matchup.
Time: 7:00 PM Watch/Stream: MSG2/MSGSN/MSG+ Listen: DEVILS HOCKEY NET
Projected Devils Lineup
Erik Haula – Jack Hughes – Curtis Lazar
Tyler Toffoli – Michael McLeod – Jesper Bratt
Ondrej Palat – Dawson Mercer – Alexander Holtz
Max Willman – Chris Tierney – Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Kevin Bahl – John Marino
Colin Miller – Luke Hughes
Projected Rangers Lineup
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad– Blake Wheeler
Artemi Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Alexis Lafrenière
Will Cuylle – Nick Bonino – Kappo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey – Barclay Goodrow –Tyler Pitlick
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Ryan Lindgren – Erik Gustafsson
Zac Jones – Braden Schneider
The Devils looked a lot more like themselves on Thursday despite missing their three biggest forwards. Despite Bryan Rust’s efforts to put the Penguins ahead by scoring twice, the Devils never let off the gas and struck back each time with goals by Curtis Lazar and Nathan Bastian. New Jersey continued to establish consistent puck pressure in the full, 60-minute effort, leading to a three-goal third period by the Devils. Jesper Bratt scored the eventual game-winning goal while Alexander Holtz and Tyler Toffoli provided insurance markers. Vitek Vanecek was strong making 21 saves on 23 shots.
Players to Watch
Head coach Lindy Ruff has pulled away from giving Vanecek a heavy workload. The Czech goaltender started on Thursday which likely means Akira Schmid gets the nod on Saturday as the Devils player to watch. The Devils Swiss goaltender had his way with the Rangers during the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring. En route to helping New Jersey advance to the second round, Schmid collected four wins and a loss, posting a .951 SV% and 1.38 GAA.
Following his sixth multi-point game of the season (tied for the most on New Jersey with J. Hughes), Jesper Bratt is another Devil to watch tonight as he sits two tallies shy of 300 career points.
According to Devils PR, “Bratt can become one of 43 players all-time who were drafted in the sixth round (exactly) and earn 300 career points. Brett Hull’s 1,391 points are the most earned by an NHL player who was selected in the sixth round of the NHL draft.”
“Bratt can become the third player in franchise history who was drafted by the franchise in the sixth round and earned 300 career points with the team:
Aaron Broten: 469 PTS, drafted by CLR in 1980
Bruce Driver: 399 PTS, draft by CLR in 1981”
Devils vs. Rangers
According to the Devils PR, “The 2023-24 Hudson River Rivalry begins on Saturday the Rock, while the two foes are scheduled to play each other three more times this season:
Feb. 22, vs NYR, 7:00 P.M.
Mar. 11, at NYR, 7:00 P.M.
Apr. 3, at NYR, 7:00 P.M.
ALL-TIME vs NYR
DID YOU KNOW…
The most goals in franchise history earned in a single game vs New York is eight, which was recorded three times, and most recently on Dec. 12, 2008, in an 8-5 win.
The most goals that the Devils allowed in a single game vs New York was 11, which was logged in an 11-2 loss on Oct 25, 1984, at the Meadowlands.
The most shots that Jersey earned in a single game vs New York is 54, which was logged on Oct. 30, 1996, in a 6-1 loss at the Meadowlands.
The most shots that the Devils allowed in a single game since 1982-83 vs New York is 51, which was logged on Jan. 12, 2010, in a 1-0 shootout win.
The last time the Devils shut out the Blueshirts was Oct. 19, 2013, at the Rock, in a 4-0 win (C. Schneider, 22 saves).
The last time that New York shut out the Devils was on Apr. 15, 2021, at New York in a 4-0 loss.”
Wed. Nov. 22, at DET, 7:00 P.M. E.T.
Fri. Nov., 24, vs CBJ, 3:00 P.M. E.T.
Sat. Nov. 25, vs BUF, 7:00 P.M. E.T
Tue., Nov. 28, vs NYI, 7:00 P.M.