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Preview: Rangers at Devils

Goalie Antti Raanta starts again for New York; Cory Schneider will play for New Jersey

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

RANGERS (45-24-3) at DEVILS (26-33-12)

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

 

Rangers team scope

The New York Rangers are six points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division with 10 games remaining. Goaltender Antti Raanta will make his sixth straight start. He is 2-2-1 with a 2.60 goals-against average in five games since Henrik Lundqvist sustained a muscle strain in his hip after making 43 saves in a 5-2 win against the Florida Panthers on March 7. Raanta is 4-0-0 with a 1.99 GAA, one shutout and .917 save percentage in four career games against the Devils, including 2-0-0 with a 1.49 GAA and .947 save percentage in two games this season. Coach Alain Vigneault will stick with the same lineup he used in a 3-2 win at the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. The Rangers play six of their final 10 games on the road; their NHL-leading 26 road wins are five shy of the NHL single-season record set by the Detroit Red Wings in 2005-06 and two short of the franchise record of 28 set in 2014-15. The Rangers are 13-4-2 in their past 19 games against the Devils. Lundqvist was a full participant in practice Monday for the first time since getting injured and has been skating and working with goalie coach Benoit Allaire. "I think the toughest part for me is just being patient and to not try to do too much," Lundqvist told the Rangers website. "The past couple days I've felt really good on the ice. Now it's about getting my speed back, the timing back. I can feel I've been away from the game a little bit."

 

Devils team scope

The New Jersey Devils are 17 points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the East with 11 games remaining. That they're all but officially eliminated from playoff contention doesn't mean they won't be ready to play. "We're excited for this game. We know the playoffs are out of reach but we're focusing on everything we can do in this room to get better," defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. "We want to build the right culture here and want to beat the Rangers. We want to treat every game the rest of the season like a playoff game. We want to play our best hockey. That's our challenge and it doesn't matter who we're playing. Playing against the Rangers is always a special night in this building. The guys here are excited and we know the fans are too." They are 1-10-2 in their past 13 games, allowing 3.46 goals per game during that stretch. Goaltender Cory Schneider will start against the Rangers. He is 4-6-3 with a 2.52 GAA and .914 save percentage in 14 games against the Rangers.

 

Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Derek Stepan -- Mats Zuccarello

J.T. Miller -- Mika Zibanejad -- Rick Nash

Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- Jesper Fast

Pavel Buchnevich -- Jimmy Vesey -- Oscar Lindberg

Marc Staal -- Ryan McDonagh

Brendan Smith -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Steven Kampfer

Antti Raanta

Magnus Hellberg

Scratched: Tanner Glass, Matt Puempel, Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening

Injured: Henrik Lundqvist (hip), Kevin Klein (back spasms), Dan Girardi (ankle)

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Adam Henrique -- Joseph Blandisi -- Beau Bennett

John Quenneville -- Pavel Zacha -- Stefan Noesen

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman -- Nick Lappin

Andy Greene -- Ben Lovejoy

John Moore -- Damon Severson

Jon Merrill -- Steven Santini

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Blake Pietila, Dalton Prout

Injured: Jacob Josefson (upper body), Michael Cammalleri (upper body), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body)

 

Status report

The Rangers did not hold a morning skate Tuesday. Lundqvist might return to the lineup at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. "I would expect him [to play] on the California trip," Vigneault said Monday. Girardi and Klein practiced Monday and are cleared medically but will not play against the Devils. They will travel with the team to California. ... Wood returns to the lineup after missing one game because of an upper-body injury. Josefson will miss his 10th straight game, Cammalleri will miss his ninth straight, and Smith-Pelly will miss his fifth in a row. Hynes said Josefson and Cammalleri continue to skate on their own.

 

Who's hot

Kreider has six points (two goals, four assists) in the past six games. Zuccarello has five points (two goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak. Vesey has scored eight of his 15 goals against Metropolitan Division opponents. ... Henrique has five points (three goals, two assists) during a four-game point streak. Zacha has one assist in each of the past four games.

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