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Devils meet Rangers for first time since East finals

by Dan Rosen

RANGERS (4-4-0) at DEVILS (4-1-3)


Season series: This is the first of four meetings between the Hudson River rivals this season.

Big story: The rivalry is back on for the first time since May 25, when Adam Henrique's overtime winner in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals lifted the Devils into the Stanley Cup Final. They also won't meet again until March 19.

Team Scope:

Rangers: New York is coming off a 3-2 win in Tampa Bay on Saturday, two days after the Pittsburgh Penguins left Madison Square Garden with a 3-0 win over the Rangers, an effort coach John Tortorella called his team's worst so far this season.

Martin Biron was in net against the Lightning, but it's a good bet that Henrik Lundqvist will return between the pipes for Tuesday's game.

"I thought everybody gave good effort," Tortorella told reporters after the win in Tampa Bay. "I thought our whole team was much better as far as puck protection, on the boards, especially offensively. We had some more offensive zone time. We were more disciplined. I thought our line changes were better. We talked about it. Those little things add up to give you a fair shake to win a hockey game."

The Rangers, who are still playing without captain Ryan Callahan and rookie Chris Kreider, made a trade Monday to bolster their forward depth, sending little-used Mike Rupp to Minnesota in exchange for Darroll Powe and minor-leaguer Nick Palmieri.

Powe should jump into a third-line or fourth-line role with time reserved for the penalty kill. The Rangers' PK is near the bottom third of the League at 78.4 percent. Powe blocked 91 shots last season, second most behind Brooks Laich among all NHL forwards.

New York also recalled 2010 first-round pick J.T. Miller and Brandon Mashinter from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League and sent Benn Ferriero to the Whale.

Devils: New Jersey got a much-needed 3-0 win over the New York Islanders on Sunday, snapping a four-game slide in which the Devils still picked up three points. The win Sunday came 24 hours after the Devils were blasted by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-1, at Consol Energy Center.

All the scoring Sunday came in the final four minutes as Steve Bernier scored twice and David Clarkson scored an empty-net goal. Johan Hedberg made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season and the 22nd of his career.

New Jersey held an optional practice Monday in which only seven players participated.

"We're in the middle of, I believe it's eight games in 14 days -- four this week and four next week -- so I'm just trying to manage the group and make sure we've got as much energy as possible when they drop the puck," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said according to The Record's Fire & Ice blog.

Who's hot: For the Rangers, Carl Hagelin had a goal and an assist in the win over Tampa Bay. It was Hagelin's first goal since March 15, 2012, snapping a drought of 36 straight games, including the playoffs, without a goal. For the Devils, Bernier scored twice Sunday, giving him his first two-goal game since Dec. 1, 2010, when he played for the Florida Panthers.

Injury report: New York will be without Callahan (shoulder) and Kreider (foot). New Jersey is healthy.

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