The first of four games against the Devils most hated rivals, the NY Rangers starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 5.
The teams haven’t faced each other since Adam Henrique scored the overtime of game 6 of the Eastern conference Finals to send the Devils to the Stanly Cup Finals (where admittedly they failed miserably, but it is still fun to poke the wounds of the Rangers fans I know are reading this Devils blog for some unknown reason).
The Devils just rebounded after four straight losses with a big win against the Islanders on Sunday. Hopefully the momentum will continue tomorrow.
The keys to the victory will be simple:
- Shut down Brad Richards, Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik. These are the three main threats from the Rangers. Keep them outside and play them tight.
- Make Henrik Lundqvist work. The more he sweats, the worse he plays. The Devils mantra should be shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.
- Get production out of your top two lines. Since being assembled the top two lines of Ilya Kovalchuk-Adam Henrique-Dainius Zubrus and Patrik Elias-Travis Zajac-David Clarkson, haven’t really been much of a threat. Kovy has been skating real well, but the line seems out-of-sync. Hopefully they will find their groove and let the scoring start against the Rags.
- Keep the Gummo line (Ryan Carter-Stephen Gionta-Steve Bernier) swarming. These guys have been hot lately and make other teams nervous. I like it. A strong third line is something most other teams don’t have, so the Devils should take advantage of that.
- Try and stay out of the box. The Devils have taken far too many penalties lately. It would be nice to get back to basics and just grind the Rangers down 5-on5.
Let’s go Devils!