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game preview

Rangers at Devils preview

Kakko, Hughes face off for first time in NHL with New York, New Jersey

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

RANGERS (2-1-0) AT DEVILS (0-4-2)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko will oppose one another for the first time in the NHL when the New Jersey Devils play the New York Rangers at Prudential Center on Thursday.

Hughes, an 18-year-old center, was selected by the Devils with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. He has yet to score and is minus-4 for New Jersey. Hughes will center the top line with left wing Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri.

The Devils have lost six straight games to start the season for the first time since beginning 2013-14 with seven straight losses (0-4-3). Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood will make his first start in three games.

Kakko is an 18-year-old right wing chosen No. 2 by the Rangers in the 2019 draft. He has one point, a goal scored in a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Goalie Alexandar Georgiev will start for New York.

 

Players to watch

Rangers center Mika Zibanejad has eight points (four goals, four assists) in three games.

Devils left wing Taylor Hall leads New Jersey with five points (one goal, four assists) in six games.

 

They said it

"(The Devils) have had stretches of good hockey for sure but when you lose tough games, you can lose a bit of your confidence and we've been through that before. I'm just focusing on what we've been doing and putting forth a much better performance than we did (Saturday)." -- Rangers coach David Quinn

"Once I get that first one, I can kind of start rolling, and they'll come in bunches. So once it rains, hopefully it pours. That first one is bound to happen at some point. I just have to keep going, keep playing my game and I'll start producing." -- Devils center Jack Hughes

 

Rangers projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Chris Kreider -- Brett Howden -- Kaapo Kakko

Brendan Smith -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Greg McKegg -- Lias Andersson -- Micheal Haley

Libor Hajek -- Jacob Trouba

Brady Skjei -- Adam Fox

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Alexandar Georgiev

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Brendan Lemieux

Injured: None

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Jack Hughes -- Kyle Palmieri

Blake Coleman -- Travis Zajac -- Wayne Simmonds

Nikita Gusev -- Pavel Zacha -- Jesper Bratt

Miles Wood -- Kevin Rooney -- John Hayden

Damon Severson -- P.K. Subban

Will Butcher -- Sami Vatanen

Mirco Mueller -- Matt Tennyson

Mackenzie Blackwood

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Connor Carrick, Jesper Boqvist

Injured: Andy Greene (upper body), Nico Hischier (upper body)

 

Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. ... Hischier is day to day.

 

Stat pack

Panarin (four points; two goals, two assists) has multiple points in two of three games. ... The Devils are 6-1-1 against the Rangers at Prudential Center since 2015-16.

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