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Game Notes: Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Tonight's Game

The Rangers face-off against their cross-river rivals, the New Jersey Devils, today at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.) in their fifth consecutive Atlantic Division matchup. The Blueshirts are currently in third place in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 39-26-11, and rank sixth in the Eastern Conference with 89 points. New York enters the contest having been defeated by the Flyers, 2-1, in overtime on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden and are now 12-2-5 in their last 19 games. The Rangers are 17-6-3 vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season. Following today's match, the Rangers will travel to Pittsburgh to face-off against the Penguins, Sunday, March 30, at Mellon Arena (12:30 p.m.) in the first game of a home-and-home set. The Devils, 42-27-7, are currently in second place in the Atlantic Division standings with 91 points and have lost their last four games.

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Tune In Tonight!
Tonight's game will be televised on MSG. You can also catch the radio broadcast on ESPN 1050 New York.

Rangers vs. Devils Pre-Game Notes:

* The Rangers are 23-13-2 at MSG this season; The Devils have posted a 20-13-5 record in 38 road contests.

* The Rangers are 17-6-3 against the Atlantic Division this season; The Devils have posted a 10-13-4 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.

* The Blueshirts have posted a 17-5-5 record in their last 27 games dating back to Jan. 22 vs. Atlanta, including a 8-2-2 mark at MSG during the stretch.

* New York has surrendered just four power play goals in their last 15 contests at MSG (38 for 42, 90.5%).

* The last time the Rangers opened a season 6-0-0 vs. the Devils was 1993-94.

* In six games this season, the Rangers have surrendered just one goal to the Devils in 20 power play attempts (95.0%), while notching four power play goals in 25 opportunities (16.0%).

* Henrik Lundqvist has posted an 0.81 goals against average and two shutouts en route to a 6-0-0 record in six games vs. the Devils this season.

* Scott Gomez leads the Rangers with five points (one goal and four assists) in six games vs. New Jersey this season, while Chris Drury and Nigel Dawes have notched a team-leading three goals apiece.

* Jaromir Jagr has registered 81 points (32 goals and 49 assists) in 89 career games vs. the Devils; Martin Straka has notched 33 points (10 goals and 23 assists) in 59 career games vs. New Jersey; Drury has collected 15 points (eight goals and seven assists) in 25 career contests vs. the Devils.

* Jagr notched his 20th goal of the season on Tuesday vs. the Flyers to extend his streak of 20-goal seasons to 17 straight, tying Marcel Dionne, Brett Hull and Mats Sundin for the third longest streak of its kind in NHL history.

* Fedor Tyutin is one goal shy of tying his career-high (six goals), which he established during the 2005-06 season.

* Straka enters tonight's contest riding a four-game, assist streak (four assists).

* Carl Hagelin, the Rangers' sixth round pick (168th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, registered 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points and a plus-16 rating in 38 games with the University of Michigan Wolverines of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season; The first-year player is set to compete in the NCAA Championship when his top-seeded Wolverines face-off against the fourth-seeded Niagara Purple Eagles, tomorrow, March 28, at the Union Center in Albany, NY (7:30 p.m.) in an East Regional opening round matchup.

* The Rangers have two former Devils on their roster; Gomez (1999-00 to 2006-07) and Brendan Shanahan (1987-88 to 1990-91).

* The Devils roster lists two former Rangers; Karel Rachunek (2003-04, 2006-07) and Kevin Weekes (2005-06 to 2006-07).

All-Time - Rangers vs. Devils
Overall: 87-75-27-3
At MSG: 48-26-20-1
At New Jersey: 39-49-7-2

2007-08 – Rangers vs. Devils
Oct. 25 Rangers 2 vs. Devils 0 at MSG
Nov. 3 Rangers 2 vs. Devils 1 (SO) at MSG
Nov. 14 Rangers 4 vs. Devils 2 at New Jersey
Dec. 9 Rangers 1 vs. Devils 0 (OT) at MSG
Feb. 1 Rangers 3, Devils 1 at New Jersey
March 19 Rangers 2, Devils 1 (SO) at New Jersey
March 27 Rangers vs. Devils at MSG
April 6 Rangers vs. Devils at New Jersey

Upcoming Regular Season Schedule
March 27 Rangers vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.
March 30 Rangers at Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m.
March 31 Rangers vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
April 3 Rangers at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
April 4 Rangers vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Recent New York Rangers Games
Last 5 NYR games: 2-1-2
Last 10 NYR games: 5-2-3


* Blair Betts underwent minor foot surgery on March 20 and has missed two games.

* Scott Gomez suffered an upper-body injury on March 21 in Philadelphia and has missed one game.

* The Rangers have lost 135 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.

Highlights from Hartford
Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:

The Wolf Pack exploded for their biggest offensive output of the season on Wednesday night at Lowell (New Jersey affiliate), drubbing the Devils, 8-2. The Pack now have at least a point in five straight games (4-0-0-1) and seven of their last eight (6-1-0-1). The Pack officially clinched their 11th Calder Cup playoff berth in 11 seasons with a 4-1 victory on Saturday night at Springfield (Edmonton affiliate). Ken Gernander’s team continues a four-game week with home games Friday night (7:00) vs. Worcester (San Jose affiliate) and Saturday (7:00) against Springfield and a visit Sunday (4:00) to Bridgeport (Islanders affiliate).

Individual highlights of the Pack's recent games included:

Ivan Baranka registered two assists and a plus-4 in Wednesday night’s 8-2 victory in Lowell. He has assists in three straight games (0-4-4).

Dane Byers netted the game-winning goal with 1:54 left in regulation of Saturday’s 4-1 win at Springfield.

Josh Gratton notched 1-1-2 in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Springfield. He has points in three straight games (2-2-4) and five of his last six contests (4-4-8), after being held scoreless in his first four games with the Wolf Pack.

Andrew Hutchinson set a Wolf Pack franchise record for defensemen with his 16th goal of the season (PP-GWG) in Wednesday night’s 8-2 win at Lowell, giving him 2-10-12 in his last eight games and 7-14-21 in his last 14. He leads AHL defensemen in points (59), by a margin of 10 over his nearest competitor, and assists, and is tied for 16th overall in the league in points.

Hugh Jessiman returned to action Wednesday night in Lowell after missing the previous two games due to a groin injury, and scored a goal and had a game-high seven shots in the Wolf Pack’s 8-2 win. He is currently riding a personal season-high four-game point-scoring streak (1-3-4).

Greg Moore has goals in three of his last four games (3-2-5), after going without a goal in his previous seven games and scoring only one in his previous 14. He netted his first pro penalty-shot goal in Friday’s 5-4 shootout loss at Philadelphia, and chipped in two assists to the Pack’s 4-1 win at Springfield Saturday.

P.A. Parenteau contributed 1-1-2 to Wednesday night’s 8-2 victory in Lowell (Second Star). He has equaled a Pack season high with a five-game goal-scoring streak (6-4-10). Parenteau is tied for fourth in the AHL in points (73) and tied for fifth in goals (31). He earned First-Star honors in Saturday’s 4-1 win in Springfield with 1-1-2, and also notched 1-1-2 in Friday’s 5-4 shootout defeat at Philadelphia.  

Corey Potter leads AHL defensemen in plus/minus, at a plus-29, and stands second overall in the league in that category.

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