Overview
The Rangers faceoff against the New Jersey Devils tonight at the Prudential Center (7:00 p.m.) in a game against Atlantic Division rivals. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and 10th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 32-32-9 (73 pts.). The Rangers enter tonight’s contest having defeated the New York Islanders, 5-0, on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, in the first network hockey telecast ever produced in 3D and the first live 3D sports telecast in North America. The Devils enter the contest with a 43-25-4 (90 pts.) record to rank fourth in the Eastern Conference. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers return to action on Saturday, Mar. 27, when they will face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six matchup.

Game Notes
It’s the sixth and final game between the cross-river rivals, with the Devils having won three of the first five – including a 6-3 victory at the Prudential Center in their last meeting on March 10. The Rangers played perhaps their best game of the season against the fading Islanders on Wednesday. The Blueshirts dominated from start to finish, and only the goaltending of Dwayne Roloson kept them from hitting double figures on the scoreboard.

“We just have to focus on carrying this game over. We’re still alive and we believe,” said Marian Gaborik, who had two goals and an assist on Wednesday. Gaborik has six points in his last three games, and is one goal away from his second 40-goal season of his career.

The Devils scored a combined total of one goal in back-to-back losses to Toronto and St. Louis before breaking out against Columbus on Tuesday. The Devils powerplay snapped out of an 0-for-17 drought by going 3-for-6.

Prediction
Every game is a playoff game for the Rangers, who no longer have room to suffer any losing-streaks. The Rangers have enjoyed success against Brodeur and the Devils since Henrik Lundqvist arrived in New York 2005, but the Devils are coming off one of their best offensive efforts of the season. The Devils are eager to win the division and earn the No. 2 seed in the East. Expect plenty of passion on both sides.

Even though the Blueshirts typically play awful after big wins, I think this team knows they can’t play that way tonight. Lundqvist will have another strong effort in net, as he has typically outplayed Marty Brodeur. This team believes it has what it takes to make the postseason. We’ll find out tonight.

Rangers win 3-2.

Shot Calling – I’m going bold. Goal for Chris Drury.

Photo Credit: rangerreporter.wordpress.com