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Rangers-Devils Preview @NHL
Rangers-Devils Preview

GAME: New York Rangers (6-4-3) at New Jersey Devils (6-5-1).

TIME: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The New Jersey Devils have dominated the New York Rangers at home for years with Martin Brodeur between the pipes.

There may be different circumstances this time around when the teams match up for the second time this season at Continental Airlines Arena.

Brodeur has missed the last three games and remains day-to-day after spraining his right knee in a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 26. The goaltender is 21-5-3 at home and 30-12-15 lifetime against New York during the regular season.

Rookie Scott Clemmensen has filled in admirably for Brodeur, winning consecutive starts before a 4-3 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Clemmensen made 33 saves, but Maxime Talbot scored a short-handed goal 3:06 into the third period to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead. The Devils tied it on goals by Brian Gionta and Erik Rasmussen, but Sergei Gonchar beat Clemmensen on a backhander to seal the game just 1:01 into the extra period.

"The one that hurt us was the short-handed goal," Devils coach Larry Robinson said. "We should never give up a short-handed goal, but those things happen."

Revered for their stifling defense and special-teams play that led to three Stanley Cups in 10 years, the Devils already have allowed two short-handed goals after giving up just five in 2003-04. The Devils also are tied for 22nd in the league in goals-against average (3.67) after sporting an NHL-best 2.00 GAA in 2003-04.

The Rangers had a similar occurrence in Monday's 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

The teams entered the third period scoreless and combined for all five goals on just 16 shots over the final 20 minutes. Jaromir Jagr's league-leading 12th tally at 9:40 lifted the Rangers into a 1-1 tie, but the Canadiens scored three unanswered goals.

"We really tried, but it seemed that we didn't play the way we really wanted to play," said rookie goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who was named Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. "We tied the game and then we made some easy mistakes."

Lundqvist, who had 27 saves Monday, is 1-0-1 with a 1.95 GAA against the Devils this season.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 2): Rangers - 15 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division. Devils - 13 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Rangers - Jagr, 12 goals and 19 points; Martin Straka, 13 assists; Darius Kasparaitis, 28 PIM. Devils - Gionta and Sergei Brylin, 6 goals; Alexander Mogilny, 8 assists and 13 points; Dan McGillis, 20 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 2): Rangers - Power play: 20.0 percent (16 for 80), 9th in NHL (tied). Penalty killing: 88.1 percent (82 for 93), 4th. Devils - Power play: 18.5 percent (13 for 70), 14th. Penalty killing: 84.9 percent (62 for 73), 7th.

GOALTENDERS: Rangers - Lundqvist (5-2-2, 1 SO, 1.76 GAA); Kevin Weekes (1-2-1, 0, 3.75). Devils - Brodeur (4-5-0, 0, 3.61); Clemmensen (2-0-1, 0, 3.68).


LAST MEETING: Oct. 13; Rangers, 4-1. At New York, Martin Rucinsky, Ville Nieminen and Blair Betts scored first-period goals, and Lundqvist stopped 20 shots to earn his first career victory.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 2-3-1 on the road; Devils - 4-2-1 at home.

Associated Press

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