DEVILS (3-1-0) at RANGERS (1-4-0)
7 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV
The New York Rangers will try to end a two-game losing streak and end their early-season slump when they open a six-game homestand against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
The Rangers lost 3-1 at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday and are off to their worst start since beginning the 2013-14 season 1-4-0 in Alain Vigneault's first season as coach. Backup goaltender Ondrej Pavelec is expected to make his first start for the Rangers after Henrik Lundqvist played against Columbus. He is 3-0-2 in his past five games against New Jersey and has allowed two goals or fewer in all five games.
Backup goalie Keith Kinkaid will make his season debut for the Devils, who will try to rebound after their first loss of the season, 5-2 against the Washington Capitals on Friday. Rookie center Nico Hischier, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, has one assist, nine shots on goal and a plus-2 rating in four games.
Players to watch
Defenseman Will Butcher, who signed a two-year, entry-level contract on Aug. 27, is tied for the Devils lead with six points (all assists) in four games. Butcher, who plays the point on the power play, has four points with the man-advantage.
Rangers forward Chris Kreider has three assists in five games. He had five points (three goals, two assists) in four games against the Devils last season. Kreider also led the Rangers in goals (27) and tied for the lead in points (32) at home last season.
They said it
"It was our first time facing adversity [against the Capitals] and we didn't do well. We'll think about it for a half hour and put it to bed against a hungry Rangers team." -- Devils left wing Taylor Hall
"It's a tough time for us right now. We're losing. I think we all have to stick together. I think this is when you get a character check. It's easy for guys to start pointing the finger and blaming, but good teams stick together in these times." -- Rangers right wing Rick Nash
Devils projected lineup
Taylor Hall -- Pavel Zacha -- Kyle Palmieri
Marcus Johansson -- Nico Hischier -- Drew Stafford
Jesper Bratt -- Adam Henrique -- Jimmy Hayes
Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman -- Brian Gibbons
Andy Greene -- Steven Santini
John Moore -- Damon Severson
Will Butcher -- Dalton Prout
Scratched: Mirco Mueller, Ben Lovejoy, Stefan Noesen
Injured: Travis Zajac (pectoral muscle),
Rangers projected lineup
Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich
Rick Nash -- Kevin Hayes -- Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey -- David Desharnais -- J.T. Miller
Michael Grabner -- Paul Carey -- Adam Cracknell
Ryan McDonagh -- Nick Holden
Brady Skjei -- Brendan Smith
Marc Staal -- Kevin Shattenkirk
Scratched: Steven Kampfer, Tony DeAngelo
Injured: Jesper Fast (hip)
Neither team held a morning skate. … Stafford, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury will return to the lineup, replacing Noesen. Devils center Brian Boyle, who played five seasons with the Rangers (2009-14), continues to skate on his own. Boyle hasn't played in the regular season after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia on Sept. 19.
New Jersey is fifth in the NHL on the power play at 29.4 percent (5-for-17). The Devils are 3-5-1 against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden since 2013-14. … Zibanejad has five goals, four on the power play, in five games. New York has killed off seven of eight opposition power plays in its past three games (87.5 percent).