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Devils at Rangers preview

New Jersey 4-1-2 in past seven; Shesterkin to start second straight game for New York

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

DEVILS (15-20-7) at RANGERS (20-18-4)

7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Igor Shesterkin will start for the second straight game when the New York Rangers play the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

The goalie made 29 saves in his NHL debut against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, a 5-3 win that ended New York's three-game losing streak. Shesterkin was recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Monday.

Henrik Lundqvist will be the backup and Alexandar Georgiev will be scratched for the second straight game.

The Devils are winless in their past two games (0-1-1), including a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday. However, they are 4-1-2 in their past seven games after going 2-6-1 in their first nine after coach Alain Nasreddine replaced John Hynes on Dec. 3. 

 

Players to watch

Devils center Nico Hischier has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past six games.

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in his past six games.

 

They said it

"I'm super excited. [The Garden] is a great place to play. It's one of my favorite places to play, the history behind it, the team we're playing against and the circumstances that we're in. I'm very excited. The guys are up for the game. It should be good." -- Devils forward Miles Wood

"[Shesterkin] played well. He's earned another opportunity. If he didn't play well, I wouldn't be putting him in there to get more of an evaluation on him." -- Rangers coach David Quinn

 

Devils projected lineup

Wayne Simmonds -- Nico Hischier -- Kyle Palmieri

Blake Coleman -- Travis Zajac -- Nikita Gusev

Jesper Boqvist -- Pavel Zacha -- Miles Wood

Ben Street -- Kevin Rooney -- John Hayden

Andy Greene -- P.K. Subban

Damon Severson -- Sami Vatanen

Will Butcher -- Mirco Mueller

Mackenzie Blackwood

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Connor Carrick

Injured: Jack Hughes (upper body), Jesper Bratt (lower body)

 

Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Brett Howden -- Filip Chytil -- Kaapo Kakko

Brendan Smith -- Greg McKegg -- Steven Fogarty

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Igor Shesterkin

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Micheal Haley, Alexandar Georgiev

Injured: Libor Hajek (knee), Brendan Lemieux (hand)

 

Status report

Blackwood will start for the Devils after missing practice Wednesday because he had a three-hour dental procedure. … Lindgren will play after missing the last two periods against Colorado with a gash under his right eye sustained during a fight with Nazem Kadri. … Hughes, a center, will miss his fourth straight game and Bratt, a forward, his second in a row.

 

Stat pack

Panarin can become the fourth player in Rangers history to have at least three points in three straight home games. Andy Bathgate (1957-58, 1961-62), Bill Cook (1929-30) and Frank Boucher (1929-30) also did it.

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