The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers go head to head in a first-round series that will be a match up worth watching. New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin faces New Jersey Devils young star Jack Hughes.
The surprising Devils had a record of 3-0-0-1 against the Rangers this season, with every game being close. The excitement surrounding this match up comes with much anticipation and one series that could end up being the best one in round one.
This will be New Jersey’s first playoff appearance since the 2017-18 season. The New Jersey Devils come into the playoffs as the second seed, while the New York Rangers will be the third seed.
Projected lineups for the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
Tomas Tatar- Nico Hischier-Dawson Mercer
Ondrej Palat-Jack Hughes-Jesper Bratt
Timo Meier-Erik Haula-Yegor Sharangovich
Miles Wood-Michael McLeod-Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler-Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves-John Marino
Kevin Bahl-Damon Severson
Vitek Vanacek-Mackenzie Blackwood
Scratched- Luke Hughes, Jesper Boqvist, Curtis Lazar, Brendan Smith
Injured- Jonathan Bernier (hip)
New York Rangers
Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin-Vincent Trocheck- Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexis Lafreniere- Filip Chytil- Kaapo Kakko
Tyler Motte- Barclay Goodrow- Jimmy Vesey
Ryan Lindgren- Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller- Jacob Trouba
Niko MIkkola-Braden Schnieder
Igor Shesterkin- Jaroslav Halak
Scratched- Ben Harpur
Lineups via NHL.com
Date: April 18, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: Prudential Center
Channel: TBS, SN360, TVAS2, MSG2, MSGSN2
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Five Things to Watch
The New York Rangers were seventh in the league on the power play, operating at 24.1% Can they be that effective in the playoffs, or will the New Jersey Devils squash every opportunity? The New Jersey Devils were fourth in the league on the penalty kill at 82.6%.
Can the New Jersey Devils offense, fifth in the league at 3,52 goals per game,apply that same pressure against the New York Rangers defense, who were fourth in the league with a 2.53 team GAA?
Will the New York Rangers be able to control the New Jersey Devils in all three zones? The Devils were fourth in the league at shots per game with an average of 34.4 shots, while giving up a mediocre 28.2 shots, which was fifth in the league.
Will the New Jersey Devils and their lack of recent playoff success play a role in the first round? Jack Hughes and company bring plenty of energy to the playoff match up against the New York Rangers. However, will their energy cause them to have too much emotion , causing them to turn over the puck?
Who will get the upper hand in a match up of veteran coaches? New Jersey Devils coach Lindy Ruff was supposed to be out of a job early in the season, according to Devils fans. Ruff has a career playoff coaching record of 66-40 but has never coached in the Stanley Cup finals. New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant has plenty of playoff experience on the ice. However, he has a record of 28-25 in the playoffs as a coach. Can Gallant out coach the veteran Ruff, or will it be the veteran coach who uses his experience to his advantage?