New Jersey Devils vs New York Rangers: What to Watch In Game 2

Jack Hughes #86, New Jersey Devils (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Jack Hughes #86, New Jersey Devils (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils come into game 2 behind 1-0 in the series to the New York Rangers. Disappointment is one way to describe their effort in game 1 but there is a reason for optimism. The New Jersey Devils know they have to be better and the New York Rangers know the Devils have to be better. With game 2 back at the Prudential Center, expect a much better outing from this young Devils team.

New Jersey Devils look for redemption in game 2

The Devils got behind rather quickly in game 1 and there was no coming back. The third period ?was their best period, out-shooting the Rangers and coming up with their only goal, only to fall short of a comeback.  Devils forward Jack Hughes is one player that has to be better as he looked nervous throughout the game in his first playoff game. The Devils, as a group, should be much better as the butterflies of game 1 are gone now and this is the time to show the Rangers why they finished where they did in the standings.

The New York Rangers did what they wanted to do in the beginning of the series, winning a game on the road. Will they go to New York up 2-0 or will the young Devils rebound and go to New York with the series tied 1-1? Here are three things to watch for game 2.

Can New Jersey rebound from game 1?

The Devils had not made the playoffs in recent memory and emotion played a big part in their game 1 loss. As the game wore on, The Devils improved their play every period. This was evident as their best period was the third, breaking the shutout of Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin. The Devils know what they have to do and, with their work ethic,should be able to counter the Rangers and come out flying for game 2. New Jersey has a team capable of winning in the playoffs and game 1 was a blip on the screen. This Devils team is good and hungry to win in the playoffs   and show they can compete. The Devils can skate with the Rangers and now is the time to put the pedal to the metal and outwork the Rangers. Devils head coach Lindy Ruff will have his team focused and ready to go for game 2. Although regular season records mean nothing come to the playoffs, the New Jersey Devils did have a 3-0-1 record against the Rangers in the regular season. The question is are the Rangers ready to face a motivated, focused team in the Devils who are ready to make a statement?

Will the Rangers keep their foot on the gas pedal?

The New York Rangers came out flying in game 1 against an inexperienced playoff team in the Devils. The Rangers took advantage of that and exposed their weaknesses. The Devils are coming into game 2 with a lot of emotion but will New York sustain that attack? The Rangers dominated the younger New Jersey Devils from start to finish.

Goal scoring, scoring chances, neutral zone play, goaltending, and physical play were all in  favor of the Rangers. New York split the series in the beginning but the rangers will look to go  back to New York up 2-0 in the series. They know New Jersey has to play their best game so far and will look to capitalize on their mistakes. A safe road game of getting the puck in and getting the puck out will be the safe play for the Rangers. The Rangers do have momentum going into game 2 and keeping the focus will not be an issue. If New York plays anywhere close to the way they played in game 1, this series will be 2-0 heading to New York.

Will New Jersey make lineup changes?

After the disappointing loss in game 1, will head coach Lindy Ruff lean towards making some lineup changes? Although it is only one game, New Jersey cannot afford to go down 2-0 in the series against a talented New York team. The question is, if changes are made to the lineup, who is in and who is out?  This is the same team that got to this point and are the second seed, so are there changes to be made or ride it out until this completely falls apart? Will there be significant changes or tinkering? If Ruff does not make lineup changes before game 2, will he make changes mid game? The New Jersey Devils appear to be ready to go into game 2 with a revamped lineup, here are the projected lineups for both the Devils and the Rangers.

Projected lineups for the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils

Timo Meier-Nico Hischier-Dawson Mercer

Ondrej Palat- Jack Hughes-Jesper Bratt

Miles Wood-Erik Haula-Tomas Tatar

Yegor Sharangovich-Michael McLeod-Nathan Bastian

Jonas Siegenthaler-Dougie Hmailton

Ryan Graves-John Marino

Kevin Bahl-Damon Severson

Vitek Vanacek- Akira Schmid/Mackenzie Blackwood

Injuries- Jonathan Bernier (hip)

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider-MIka Zibanejad-Patrick Kane

Artemi Panarin-Vincent Trocheck-Vladimir Tarasenko

Aleis Lafreniere-Filip Chytil-Kappo Kakko

JImmy Vesey-Barclay Goodrow-Tyler Motte

Ryan Lindgren-Adam Fox

K’Andre MIller-Jacob Trouba

NIko MIkkola-Braden Schneider

Igor Shesterkin-Jaroslav Halak

Injuries- none

Game 2 is Thursday, April 20 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Game 12 can be seen on TBS, SN360, TVA2, MSG2, and MSGSN2