The New York Rangers will play their 13th game of the season and their seventh consecutive home game when the Blueshirts welcome the New Jersey Devils to MSG on Tuesday night.
New York Rangers: 4-6-3 (11 pts)
New Jersey Devils: 4-3-2 (10 pts)
Madison Square Garden
Television: MSG, MSG+; 7:00 PM
The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in five of the last seven games (3-2-2 record), but will be missing their leading scorer as Artemi Panarin is not expected to play in the game missing his second consecutive game due to a lower-body injury.
Possibly joining him in missing the contest is defenseman K’Andre Miller who started Monday’s practice rotating with Libor Hajek and Anthony Bitetto. Brendan Smith returned to practice and was in Miller’s spot with Jacob Trouba in practice.
Miller’s injury was listed by the Rangers as an upper-body injury. The team will wait until Tuesday before announcing his status for the game against New Jersey.
In Monday’s practice these were the lines the team was rolling with;
Di Giuseppe- Howden-Buchnevich
Igor Shesterkin gets the start in net against the Devils. He has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last five appearances, posting a 1.60 GAA and a .944 SV% over the span, and he has also posted a .930 SV% or better in each of his last four appearances (1.52 GAA and .950 SV%). Since the NHL began to track saves in 1955-56, he is one of three Rangers rookie goaltenders who have posted a .930 SV% or better in four consecutive starts (Marcel Paille and Gilles Villemure). Shesterkin has posted a .900 SV% or better in 17 of his 21 career NHL appearances, including a .930 SV% or better in 12 appearances. He leads NHL rookie goaltenders (min. two appearances) in GAA (2.16) and ranks second among NHL rookie goaltenders (min. two appearances) in SV% (.922) in 2020-21. Shesterkin has had three days rest prior to five of his appearances/starts thus far in his NHL career; in those five appearances/starts which he has had three days rest, he has posted a 3-2-0 record, along with a 1.40 GAA and a .955 SV%. (courtesy NYR Public Relations)
Special Teams Going In Opposite Directions
The Ranger’s special teams have struggled with the man advantage mightly and sored when they are down a man.
The Rangers were 0-for-6 (11:02) on Feb. 12 vs. Boston, which ended in a 1-0 loss.
New York is tied for third in the NHL in power-play opportunities per game in 2020-21 (4.00).
The penalty-killing unit has been superb.
- The Rangers were 4-for-4 (8:00) on Feb. 12 vs. Boston.
- The Blueshirts have not allowed a power-play goal in each of the last six games (21-for-21) and have killed off 24 of their opponents’ 25 power-play opportunities over the last seven games (96.0%).
- The Rangers have held their opponents to only 30 shots on goal over their opponents’ 25 power-play opportunities during the last seven games.
- The Rangers have killed off at least 21 consecutive power-play opportunities by their opponents for the first time since a stretch from Mar. 1-18, 2014 (24 in a row).
- New York ranks seventh in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (84.4%).
- The Rangers rank fourth in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency at home in 2020-21 (91.4%; 32-for-35) and have killed off 26 of their opponents’ 27 power-play opportunities during their last eight home games (96.3%).
This will be the Devil’s first game since Jan. 31 due to the NHL’s Covid Protocol policy. The Devils won that game over the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 5-3. New Jersey had only won two of their last five prior to the pause (2-2-1) but did sit at the time in the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division.