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Preview: Rangers at Devils

Antti Raanta to start for New York; Pavel Zacha out for New Jersey

by Mike G. Morreale @MikeMorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

RANGERS (39-19-2) at DEVILS (25-25-10)

5 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV

 

Rangers team scope

New York Rangers goaltender Antti Raanta will make his 17th start. He is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in three games against the New Jersey Devils. "You just keep trying to do the right things in practice to be ready," Raanta told Newsday. He is 7-1-0 with a 2.16 GAA and .931 save percentage in nine starts on the road this season. The Rangers lead the NHL with 20 road victories and have won nine of their past 11 games away from Madison Square Garden (9-2-0). Forward J.T. Miller, who leads the Rangers with 47 points, has 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in the past 23 games. The Rangers have at least one point in 11 of the past 13 games against the Devils (9-2-2), dating to Dec. 7, 2013. New York is in third place in the Metropolitan Division, two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

Devils team scope

Forward Pavel Zacha, who sustained a concussion in the second period of a 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, will not play. He will be replaced by Beau Bennett. Goaltender Cory Schneider will make his 46th start. He is 4-6-2 with a 2.40 GAA and .916 save percentage in 13 games against the Rangers. "I find the rivalry with the Rangers funny because people within their family root for different teams; their brothers or their dads, or sisters are Ranger fans and they are Devil fans," Schneider said. "They are right across the [Hudson] River, probably the shortest trip for any two teams in the League, so you always hear about them. When you play them and beat them and get bragging rights you don't have to think about too much." The Devils, who have lost both games against the Rangers this season, are eight points behind the New York Islanders, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. "If we can get four points in these next two games, starting against the Rangers, who knows?' " Schneider said. "We're not talking about March or April yet, but having a great game against our rival and [we] want to close out February in good fashion."

 

Rangers projected lineup

Jimmy Vesey -- Derek Stepan -- Rick Nash

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- J.T. Miller

Brandon Pirri -- Oscar Lindberg -- Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Adam Clendening

Antti Raanta

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Pavel Buchnevich, Matt Puempel

Injured: Kevin Klein (back spasms)

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Beau Bennett -- Adam Henrique -- PA Parenteau

Michael Cammalleri -- Jacob Josefson -- Stefan Noesen

Miles Wood -- Joseph Blandisi -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Andy Greene -- Ben Lovejoy

Jon Merrill -- Steven Santini

Kyle Quincey -- Damon Severson

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Seth Helgeson, John Moore

Injured: Pavel Zacha (concussion)

 

Status report

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said Lundqvist would start against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. Klein, injured in warmups prior to a 2-1 win at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, will not play against the Devils or the Blue Jackets. "We'll see how he is Monday and go from there," Vigneault said after practice Friday. Buchnevich has been a healthy scratch in two of the past four games.

 

Who's hot

Skjei has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in the past 15 games. Hayes has eight points (two goals, six assists) in the past eight games. ... Zajac has four points (two goals, two assists) during a three-game point streak. Palmieri has three points (one goal, two assists) in the past two games.

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