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Rangers Wrap Up Back-to-Back Set Against Devils at MSG

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

Rangers (1-4-0, 2 pts) vs. Devils (3-1-0, 6 pts)
7 pm, MSG Network; WOR 710 AM

The Game

The Rangers must put Friday's 3-1 loss to the Blue Jackets behind them quickly as the Blueshirts are right back in action tonight against the Devils at Madison Square Garden.

Despite scoring first - something the Rangers haven't done enough this season - the Rangers surrendered a late second period goal Friday in Columbus before the Blue Jackets controlled much of the final 20 minutes on its way to dealing the Rangers their fourth loss in five games this season.

Henrik Lundqvist turned in a strong performance, making 40 saves in the loss. He'll get Saturday night off, though, as Ondrej Pavelec is expected to make his first start as a Ranger.

The Devils are also coming off a loss Friday night, as they were topped, 5-2, by Washington in Newark. 

New Jersey is off to a strong start, though, with its remade roster clicking early. Six players are producing at a point-per-game through four contests, with another two at three points through four games.
Jesper Bratt has been a big story thus far early in the 2017-18 season, as the 19-year-old winger has three goals and three assists for six points in four games, including a pair of short-handed points.

Like the Rangers, the Devils are expected to sit their No. 1 netminder, Cory Schneider, who has played all four games this season. Long Island-native Keith Kinkaid is expected to get the start for New Jersey.

Players to Watch

Pavelec has waited a long time for the opportunity to start a game in the NHL, something he hasn't done since Feb. 7 as a member of the Winnipeg Jets. The 30-year-old relieved Lundqvist last Saturday in Toronto and allowed three goals on 24 shots in taking the loss against the Maple Leafs. 

Rangers fans will get their first look at No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier. The 18-year-old was one of the best players in preseason on his way to earning a roster spot on opening night with the Devils. Thus far, he has one assists and nine shots on goal through four games.

Inside the Numbers

Pavelec is 18 saves away from 10,000 in his NHL career, and he would become the third Czech-born goaltender to make at least 10,000 saves in NHL history (along with Dominik Hasek and Tomas Vokoun). 

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