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Game Notes: Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
VS.
Tonight's Game

The Rangers face-off against the New Jersey Devils tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division matchup. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 39-28-9, and seventh in the Eastern Conference with 87 points. The Rangers enter today's contest having been defeated by the Penguins, 4-3, on Saturday at Mellon Arena, and have won eight of their last 13 games (8-4-1). The Blueshirts are one win shy of posting their fourth consecutive 40-win season for the first time since they recorded four straight 40-win seasons from 1970-71 to 1973-74. Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will travel to Carolina to face-off against the Hurricanes on Thursday, April 2 at the RBC Center (7:00 p.m.). The Devils, 47-24-4, currently rank third in the Eastern Conference standings with 98 points, and have lost five of their last six games.

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Tune In Tonight!
Tonight's game will be televised nationally on Versus. You can also catch the radio broadcast on WABC (770 AM) and on satellite radio at XM 204.

Rangers vs. Devils Pre-Game Notes

* The Rangers are 23-11-4 at home this season; The Devils have posted a 21-13-3 record in 37 road contests.

* The Rangers are 12-9-0 against the Atlantic Division this season; The Devils have posted a 13-8-1 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.

* New York has tallied five goals in 28 power play opportunities (17.9%) vs. New Jersey this season.

* The Blueshirts have held opponents scoreless on the power play in 10 of their last 13 games at MSG (44-for-47, 93.6%).

* The Rangers have posted a 9-3-2 record in their last 14 games at Madison Square Garden.

* The Blueshirts have won five of their last six meetings vs. the Devils at MSG.

* Tonight marks the 200th regular season meeting between the Rangers and the Devils' franchise; The Blueshirts are 12-6-3 over the last 21 games vs. the Devils.

* The Blueshirts are one win shy of posting their fourth consecutive 40-win season for the first time since they recorded four straight 40-win seasons from 1970-71 to 1973-74.

* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 14-5-4 record, along with a 1.88 goals against average and two shutouts in 23 career regular season appearances vs. New Jersey.

* In the season series, Nikolai Zherdev leads the Rangers with three goals and seven points in five games, while his four assists are tied with Dan Girardi for first on the team.

* Chris Drury has registered 23 points (10 goals and 13 assists) in 32 career games vs. the Devils; Scott Gomez has notched 10 points (two goals and eight assists) in 12 career games vs. New Jersey; Zherdev has recorded nine points (five goals and four assists) in eight career contests vs. the Devils.

* Blair Betts has been nominated for the 2009 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualitites of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.

* Michael Del Zotto, the Rangers' first round-round selection (20th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has registered one goal and seven assists for eight points in five playoff games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL); He helped lead London to a first round victory over Erie (4-1), and currently ranks second among OHL defensemen in playoff assists and is tied for second among all league blueliners with eight playoff points.

* New York lists one former Devil on its roster; Gomez (1999-00 to 2006-07).

* New Jersey's roster lists four former Rangers; Bobby Holik (2002-03 to 2003-04), Mike Mottau (2000-01 to 2001-02), Brendan Shanahan (2006-07 to 2007-08), and Kevin Weekes (2005-06 to 2006-07).

All Time – Rangers vs. Devils
Overall: 90-78-27-4
At MSG: 50-27-20-1
At New Jersey: 40-51-7-3

2008-09 - Rangers vs. Devils
Oct. 13 Rangers 4, Devils 1 at MSG
Nov. 12 Rangers 5, Devils 2 at New Jersey
Dec. 12 Rangers 5, Devils 8 at New Jersey
Dec. 27 Rangers 2, Devils 4 at MSG
Feb. 9 Rangers 0, Devils 3 at New Jersey
March 30 Rangers vs. Devils at MSG

Upcoming Regular-Season Schedule
March 30 Rangers vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.
April 2 Rangers at Carolina, 7 p.m.
April 4 Rangers at Boston, 1 p.m.
April 7 Rangers vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.
April 9 Rangers vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Recent New York Rangers Games
Last 5 NYR games: 2-2-1
Last 10 NYR games: 5-4-1

Injuries


* Michal Rozsival has missed three games with a lower-body injury suffered on March 22.

* The Rangers have lost 28 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.
 
Highlights from Hartford
Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:

The Wolf Pack (42-26-3-3, 90 points) officially clinched a 2009 playoff berth, and upped their Atlantic-Division lead over second-place Providence (Boston affiliate) to two points, with a 3-2 shootout win over the Bruins Saturday in Hartford. The Pack trailed that game 2-0 in the first period, and 2-1 going into the third. The victory was the Wolf Pack’s fifth in the last six games, and Ken Gernander’s club has at least a standings point in 16 of its last 19 outings (15-3-1-0). The Pack has also won six straight home games—they finished a stretch of nine out of 11 on the road with a 5-1 triumph at Albany (Carolina affiliate) Friday night.  That was the Wolf Pack’s 13th straight triumph in head-to-head action against the River Rats, adding to what was already a franchise record for most consecutive wins vs. a single opponent.  The Pack are back action Wednesday night (7:00) at home against Portland (Buffalo affiliate), and then clash again with the Bruins Friday in Providence (7:05).

For more Wolf Pack news, visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
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