Last Tuesday, the New York Rangers lost to their division rivals, the New Jersey Devils, 4-3 in a shootout at the Prudential Center. The Rangers look to bounce back tonight at Madison Square Garden for a rematch of last week's game.
The Devils are on a hot streak as of late. Their win against the Rangers last Tuesday has propelled them to a four-game winning streak, where they have outscored their opponents, 20-12.
The Rangers have been on a nice streak of their own since losing to the Devils. They have won their last two, their last one being a dominant performance against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, 5-2.
The Devils barely edged out the Rangers last Tuesday, and I think that they will not be so lucky this week. I think that the Rangers, at home, will end the streak of the Devils and continue theirs.
The Devils have been playing well, there is no question about that, but they have given up at least three goals in three of their last four games, one of them being against the Rangers. The Rangers are coming off of a great offensive performance against the hot Flyers, and I believe that they will be able to pick apart the Devils defense much like they did last week.
I also believe that the Devils' impressive scoring will be put to rest tonight. Why? Two reasons: the Rangers' stellar defense and the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist.
The Rangers used backup goaltender Martin Biron in their 4-3 loss last week. Lundqvist is a much better goaltender and much better in a shootout if it comes to that.
Lundqvist will have much more success that Biron did against the Devils offense and keep the Rangers close in the game.
Aside from that, it was more the Rangers losing the game last week than the Devils winning. The Rangers looked a little sluggish coming back from the All-Star break, and made some bad plays that resulted in Devils scores.
The Rangers also fell victim to some unlucky bounces, the most critical being the one that popped the puck right in front of Biron to tie the score with under a minute left in the third.
The Rangers will not make the same mistakes they did last game. They will be using the better goaltender in Lundqvist and will freeze the red-hot Devils streak at four.