Miles Wood
(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

New Jersey Devils winger Miles Wood had high praise for the New York Rangers defense ahead of the tri-state rivals’ matchup Thursday night.

For the first time this season, the New Jersey Devils (15-20-7) will head to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers (20-18-4) Thursday night.

Ahead of Thursday’s game, Devils left-winger Miles Wood had high praise for the Rangers defense his team will look to score against.

“Their D (defense), first and foremost.” Wood told when asked what stands out about the Rangers. “They jump up in the play.

“They are fast. The first line is pretty special over there. Overall, I think they’re a young, deep group and it’s going to be a good test for us. But we’ll for sure be up for it.”

Despite Wood’s high praise, the numbers for the Rangers aren’t exactly impressive.

New York has allowed the 12th most goals in the NHL with 139 and has allowed the second-most shots allowed per game with 34.6, only ranking ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks, who are currently last in their division. 

While the Devils haven’t played at MSG yet this season, they have hosted the Rangers twice.

New Jersey picked up its first win of the season at the Rangers expense on Oct. 17 with a 5-2 victory. Among those to score goals for the Devils was Wood, Blake Coleman, Kyle Palmieri, Nikita Gusev and P.K. Subban. 

On Nov. 30, New York got its revenge when they shut out the Devils by a score of 4-0 after the Rangers scored three goals in the third period to close out the game.

After Thursday’s game, the two teams will meet once more this season when New Jersey travels back to the Garden on Mar. 7.