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Devils, Rangers set for Round 3 at Garden

Sunday, 04.21.2013 / 2:35 PM

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

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Devils, Rangers set for Round 3 at Garden
New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

DEVILS (17-17-10) at RANGERS (23-17-4)


Last 10: New Jersey 2-6-2, New York 7-2-1

Season series: The teams have split the opening two games of the four-game set. New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves in a 3-2 victory at Prudential Center to even the season series March 19. Rick Nash scored 7:25 into the second period to break a 2-2 tie. The clubs will meet once more in the regular season, April 27 at Madison Square Garden.

Big story: Fans can anticipate a Stanley Cup Playoffs-type atmosphere when these Hudson River rivals square off. A loss of any kind to the Rangers will eliminate New Jersey from postseason contention, while winning in regulation is nearly as important. If the Devils need overtime or a shootout to get two points, the one point earned by the Rangers will make a playoff berth for New Jersey even less likely. Each team enters having won its past two games.

"This is a must win [on Sunday]," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "That will be a man's game. They've got an opportunity to close us out, and I'm sure they're going to relish that, and we'll have to get off the bus and be ready to compete."

Team Scope:

Devils: The return of defenseman Anton Volchenkov, who has finished serving his four-game suspension for an elbowing incident April 10, could provide a boost, but DeBoer hasn't come out and stated that the hard-hitting Russian would be reinserted into the lineup. The Devils have put together a two-game winning streak for the first time since March 21-23 and the team has allowed two goals in those two matches. After spotting the Panthers a 2-0 lead in the opening eight minutes Saturday, New Jersey scored six unanswered, including a pair by Patrik Elias, to secure the victory.

Ilya Kovalchuk returned to the lineup against the Panthers after missing the previous 11 games with a right shoulder injury and, despite not registering a point, earned a team-high 22:43 of ice time on a line with center Adam Henrique and left wing Dainius Zubrus.

Rangers: Brad Richards notched the first hat trick of his career on four shots and won 64 percent of his faceoffs (9-of-14) to help lead New York to an 8-4 triumph against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Nash had a goal and an assist and has produced seven goals and 12 points in 10 games during April. Additionally, Ryane Clowe, who had a goal and one assist, has three goals and seven points in nine games since being acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline. The eight goals scored on Buffalo were a season high and the most by the Rangers since Nov. 14, 2010 -- an 8-2 decision against the Edmonton Oilers at MSG.

Who's hot: Rangers forward Derek Stepan has five goals and 12 points in the past nine games.

Injury report: Rangers forward Brian Boyle (lower body) is doubtful, and forward Derek Dorsett (collarbone) and defenseman Marc Staal (right eye) are out. … Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador (wrist) is doubtful.

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 27 '13 NJD 0 at NYR 4 D. Stepan
Apr 21 '13 NJD 1 at NYR 4 D. Stepan
Mar 19 '13 NYR 3 at NJD 2 R. Nash
Feb 05 '13 NYR 1 at NJD 3 D. Clarkson
P. Elias45132033+52040
I. Kovalchuk34101828-31824
D. Clarkson4514923-67655
T. Zajac4561218-52011
M. Zidlicky4541317-103410
A. Henrique4011516-11432
S. Bernier458715-61721
R. Carter416915-12701
A. Greene4541115+101821
S. Sullivan396814-132430
S. Gionta4541014+31400
A. Loktionov268412-2410
A. Ponikarovsky40459+01401
D. Zubrus19268-2800
M. D'Agostini29336-5800
M. Fayne31156+61600
A. Larsson34066+41200
P. Harrold20235-7410
A. Volchenkov34134-13700
H. Tallinder24134+21000
S. Matteau17123-1600
B. Butler14112-6010
B. Salvador39022-122200
J. Josefson19022-9200
T. Kostopoulos14101+01800
M. Tedenby4011+0200
M. Anderson2011+1000
K. Barch22000+14400
T. Sestito6000+1200
C. Janssen4000-1200
H. Pesonen4000-1200
M. Brodeur2812-9-7636332.23.900
J. Hedberg175-9-3453962.73.886
K. Kinkaid10-0-01132.31.923
J. Frazee10-0-0030.001.000
R. Nash41192140+162633
D. Stepan45162440+221245
B. Richards43102030+41221
D. Brassard44101727+21631
R. Callahan42141226+51063
C. Hagelin45101222+81611
M. Gaborik3591019-8814
M. Del Zotto4331619+81800
R. McDonagh4441418+102001
R. Clowe3831518+49310
D. Girardi4321214-31601
M. Staal212911+41410
T. Pyatt45549+4410
A. Stralman45448+141600
M. Zuccarello12336+6800
B. Boyle38235-132901
J. Moore27145+1700
J. Miller26224-7810
C. Kreider20213-1600
S. Eminger32033+6800
A. Asham25202+24500
J. Halpern30011-5800
R. Hamrlik16011-4800
K. Newbury5011+1900
B. Ferriero4011+0000
D. Powe39000-12500
S. Bickel16000-24900
M. Gilroy14000-3200
M. Haley9000-11200
M. Rupp8000-31200
B. Mashinter4000-2000
B. Segal1000+0200
C. Thomas1000+0000
H. Lundqvist4022-15-38311342.08.927
M. Biron62-2-1131562.32.917