The first Hudson River Rivalry game of the season is finally here.
Both the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers played on Saturday and wouldn’t have any days rest before facing each other for the first time this season on Sunday.
Both teams have gotten off to good starts to the season, which will make this game all the more competitive but exciting.
The Rangers head into this game on a two-game winning streak, having handed the Florida Panthers their first regulation loss of the season on Monday and beating the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
The Devils have had a good week, as well. They lost a tough one to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, but came into that game on a three-game winning streak with victories against the San Jose Sharks, Panthers, and New York Islanders, all good teams.
Offensively, the Devils and Rangers have been similar. Both offenses are hovering around league-average, but have been much better lately, scoring at a high-rate.
With regard to the power play, the Devils have one of the worst in the league, but they’ve been scoring much more often on the man-advantage over the past week or so.
The Rangers, who had one of the best power plays in the league last season, struggled mightily on the man-advantage to begin the 2021-22 season.
However, thanks to guys like Chris Kreider, who leads the league in power play goals, the Rangers’ power play has been excellent and is now one of the best in the league.
Both the Devils and Rangers have above-average defenses but, surprisingly, New Jersey has been better in their own zone. As usual, the Devils have one of the worst penalty kills in hockey, but it’s been improving from last in the league.
Usually one of the best penalty kills in the NHL, the Rangers have been struggling while shorthanded, as of late.
Devils players to watch:
LW Andreas Johnsson
This season: 13 GP, 6 G (1 PP), 11 PTS
C Dawson Mercer
This season: 13 GP, 5 G (1 PP), 10 PTS
RHD Dougie Hamilton
This season: 10 GP, 3 G, 8 PTS
RW Yegor Sharangovich
Career vs. NYR: 8 GP, 2 G, 6 PTS
Rangers players to watch:
LW Artemiy Panarin
This season: 14 GP, 4 G (1 PP), 15 PTS
Career vs. NJD: 21 GP, 10 G (1 PP), 31 PTS
RHD Adam Fox
This season: 14 GP, 3 G, 15 PTS
Career vs. NJD: 12 GP, 2 G, 12 PTS
LW Chris Kreider
This season: 14 GP, 11 G (7 PP), 14 PTS
C Mika Zibanejad
This season: 14 GP, 4 G (2 PP), 13 PTS
Career vs. NJD: 31 GP, 11 G (4 PP), 30 PTS
C Ryan Strome
Career vs. NJD: 32 GP, 13 G (3 PP), 27 PTS