The NHL is set up with another solid night of hockey on April 17. Twelve games are up on the board throughout Saturday. One of these games will be between the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers. These two teams need a big win in this one. This matchup will drop the puck at around 12:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
New Jersey has earned a record of 14-22-6 throughout this season, which has them sitting in seventh place of the East Division. The Devils have lost four games in a row and eight of their last nine. New Jersey has struggled a bit throughout this season and will look to finish out strong. I expect the Devils to come out fast in this one.
The Rangers have put up a record of 21-16-6 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in fifth place of the East Division. New York has won back to back games and three of their last four. The Rangers are four points out a playoff spot and will look to get closer with a win. New York is coming off two dominant wins and will look to carry momentum into this one.
These two teams are outside of the playoff picture as of right now, but I think it could be a good game on Saturday afternoon. New Jersey has been a bit worse this season and will need to step up against the Rangers. New York is coming off back to back wins against the Devils and will look to pull off another big win on Saturday afternoon.
The Devils and the Rangers have met up six times throughout this season. New York hosted the first two games of the season series on January 19 and February 16. Jack Hughes had two goals and an assist in the first game as New Jersey won 4-3. Janne Kuokkanen had three assists in the second game as the Devils won 5-2 win on the road.
The third and fourth game of the season series shifted to New Jersey on March 4. Chris Kreider had three goals in the third game to lift the Rangers to a dominant 6-1 win. Ryan Strome scored twice in the fourth game. Filip Chytil and Adam Fox both had a goal and an assist as New York was able to earn a 6-3 win on the road to even up the season series.
New Jersey hosted the fifth game of the season series on April 13. Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist on the night. Adam Fox added two assists, while Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad both had a goal to lift New York to the win. Igor Shesterkin finished with a 27 save shutout as the Rangers earned a 3-0 win on the road.
The sixth and most recent game of the season series shifted to New York on April 15. Artemi Panarin scored two goals and added an assist, while Collin Blackwell had three assists on the night. Ryan Strome had two assists as well. Igor Shesterkin stopped all 16 shots he faced to help lead the Rangers to a 4-0 win in this one.
The Devils have struggled on both sides of special teams throughout this season. New Jersey has capitalized on 16 of their 120 power play opportunities, which is a 13.3 percent success rate. The Devils have given up 33 power play goals on 116 penalties against, which is a 71.6 percent penalty kill. New Jersey needs to step up on special teams in this one.
New York has not been great on the power play throughout this season. The Rangers have scored on 28 of their 146 power play attempts, which is a 19.2 percent power play. New York has been stronger on the penalty kill this season. The Rangers have killed off 110 of their opponents 130 power play chances, which is an 84.6 percent kill rate.
These two teams have not been great on the power play, but the Rangers have been better overall this season. New York will look to get their power play going against the Devils struggling penalty kill. If New Jersey can step up on special teams in this one though, they could bounce back with a win against the Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
Mackenzie Blackwood will likely get the start in the net for New Jersey in this one. Blackwood has started in 26 games this season, going 9-14-3 through those starts. He has put up a .901 save percentage and a GAA of 3.07 through his games played. Blackwood finished with 29 saves on 33 shots in his last start against New York.
I expect Igor Shesterkin to get the nod between the pipes for the Rangers on Saturday. Shesterkin has earned a record of 12-9-3 through his games played this season. He has posted a save percentage of .925 and a 2.25 GAA. Shesterkin’s last start was against the Devils where he had a 16 shot shutout to give his team the win.
These two goalies have been solid throughout this season. Shesterkin has been a bit better throughout this season and will look to keep up his strong play in this one. Shesterkin has had back to back shutouts entering this one. The Devils will look to put pressure on Shesterkin early in this one to try and break through. If New York can get another great start from him in this one, it could help them grab a win.
These two teams have struggled throughout this season, which has them sitting outside of the playoff picture. New York is still very much in the race for a playoff spot, but need a big win in this one. The Devils were shutout int their last two games, but I think they will bounce back in this one. If New Jersey can have a fast start in this one, I think they can knock off the Rangers.
BetOnline has New York listed as a -225 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Rangers will win this game around 69.2 percent of the time. I think that this line is way too big for two teams that are outside of the playoff picture. I think that the Devils will have a fast start in this one. As huge underdogs on Saturday, I really like the value on New Jersey.