If there were ever a Rangers vs Devils game scenario, this would be the perfect one. The New York Rangers currently possess 73 points in the NHL standings while the Devils have a mere 43. The Rangers currently are in third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Devils second-to-last. The bright spot for the Rangers is that they have scoring depth paired with lockdown defense and goaltending to make a deep in the NHL playoffs.
Currently, the Rangers are averaging 2.89 goals per game. While this number probably should be higher, New York has found scoring comes from various players. Left wing Artemi Panarin leads the team with points with 59 on the season. These come from his 15 goals and 44 assists. Left winger Chris Kreider leads the way with 35 goals on the season. Defenseman Adam Fox has the team lead in assists (46).
What also makes the Rangers a difficult opponent is the dominant play from starting goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Playing himself right into the Vezina Trophy conversation with no signs of slowing down, Shesterkin currently possesses a 26-6-3 record with a goals-against-average of 1.98 and a save percentage of .941 percent. This man truly has carried this team into the conversation as a Stanley Cup contender.
They’re a top-three team in the Metropolitan Division. One part of the Rangers game that separates them from their competition is their special teams play. The Rangers’ power play percentage is 25.3, ranking iifth in the NHL. Their penalty kill percentage is 82.7, ranking seventh. Having a top ten team in both special teams categories makes it quite difficult for the opposition. Teams that tend to take a high amount of penalties should beware when they are facing this potent Ranger team.
This team has all the tools to continue dominating the competition, whether it’s from offense scoring in quantity, defense locking down or goaltenders stealing wins. The New York Rangers are a dangerous team this season, and the opposition should be on alert.
New York’s Friday night Madison Square Garden game against the cross-river New Jersey Devils is simply another step toward their ultimate goal of raising the Stanley Cup at the end of the playoffs. New York has all the tools to be included as one of the best NHL teams at the conclusion of this season.
To their credit, Jersey has won five of their last eight games after a 10-game losing skid