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GAME: New York Rangers (1-0-1) at New Jersey Devils (1-1-0).

TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EDT.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur has made a career out of beating the New York Rangers.

The future Hall of Famer will get a chance to pad his impressive numbers against the Rangers when New Jersey hosts New York at the Continental Airlines Arena.

In his last 15 games against New York, Brodeur has recorded nine wins and five ties. Overall, he is 29-11-5 with a 2.11 goals-against average and six shutouts against the Blueshirts.

But Brodeur and the Devils are coming off a rare poor performance. New Jersey wasted a two-goal second-period lead in a 5-2 loss Friday to Philadelphia.

Brodeur stopped 28 of 33 shots, and admitted it was hard to get in a rhythm.

"The Flyers are so freewheeling, they're able to hit your stick with their glove, just touch you a little bit," Brodeur said. "It's hard to get your position. It's hard to move around the net, especially against a team like that. That's their strength and they use it. They go hard to the net."

Unheralded defenseman Paul Martin has given New Jersey some scoring punch. A second-round pick in the 2000 draft, Martin has three assists in two games.

New York played its home opener Thursday and dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to Montreal. Marcel Hossa, Martin Rucinsky and Dominic Moore scored and Steve Rucchin added two assists for the Rangers.

Hossa, acquired Sept. 30 in a trade with Montreal, has taken just two shots this season - scoring both times.

Rangers coach Tom Renney has been pleased so far with his team's ability to rally from deficits, but knows it's a trait the Rangers can't afford if they are to make the postseason for the first time since 1996-97.

New York rallied from a late two-goal deficit for a 5-3 win over Philadelphia in Wednesday's season opener. Moore's game-tying tally against Montreal came with 2:36 to play.

"It does show some type of mettle about our team but that's not a habit we want to get into," Renney said.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 7): Rangers - 3 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division. Devils - 2 points, 2nd place, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Rangers - Jaromir Jagr and Hossa, 2 goals; Rucchin and Martin Straka, 3 assists; Jagr, 4 points; Darius Kasparaitis, 8 PIM. Devils - Brian Gionta and Sergei Brylin, 2 goals; Martin, 3 assists; Gionta, Martin, 3 points; Scott Gomez, 8 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 6): Rangers - Power play: 30.0 percent (3 for 10), 4th in NHL. Penalty killing: 90.5 percent (19 for 21), 11th. Devils - Power play: 17.6 percent (3 for 17), 17th. Penalty killing: 93.7 percent (15 for 16), 9th.

GOALTENDERS: Rangers - Kevin Weekes (1-0-1, 0 SO, 3.44 GAA), Henrik Lundqvist (no record). Devils - Brodeur (1-1-0, 0, 3.00); Scott Clemmensen (no record).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Devils, 4-1-1.

LAST MEETING: March 30, 2004, Devils, 5-0. At East Rutherford, N.J., Brodeur stopped all 24 shots and Scott Gomez scored twice for New Jersey.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 1-0-0 on the road; Devils - 1-0-0 at home.

Associated Press
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