NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 5th (All times eastern)
New York Rangers (6-5-1) at New Jersey Devils (4-9-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils were able to knock off the defending Stanley Cup champions in their last game, but even more important for the struggling club was the news they received after that victory.
New Jersey can win consecutive games for the first time this year when it hosts the rival New York Rangers tonight at the Prudential Center.
The Devils posted a 5-3 win in Chicago on Wednesday night and although it was just the fourth time this year that Jersey was able to celebrate a win, the club had little time to rejoice considering franchise goaltender Martin Brodeur left the game with an injury.
New Jersey was leading 2-0 early in the second period when Brodeur was forced to exit the game after being hit in the elbow by a Patrick Kane shot. Johan Hedberg came into the game and helped the Devils hold on for the victory. Shortly after the contest ended, news came in that Brodeur's injury was not serious. However, the legendary netminder has been ruled out for tonight's game, meaning Hedberg will get the start.
The Devils certainly needed the win as well as the good news on Brodeur. The team has a disappointing 4-9-1 record this year and had already received some terrible injury news earlier in the week when it learned star winger Zach Parise will miss three months with a torn meniscus.
Jamie Langenbrunner registered a goal and two assists in the victory over the Blackhawks. Travis Zajac had a goal and one assist for the Devils, who finished 2-4-0 on their six-game road trip.
"No one has ever stopped working here," said New Jersey head coach John MacLean. "I think this is a big win for them and we still have work to do, but it's going in the right direction."
Brodeur stopped all eight shots he faced before leaving the game. Hedberg made 21 saves in relief.
"It's not an ideal situation, but when you realize you're going in the adrenaline kicks in," said Hedberg. "The focus comes instantly and you just try to find your groove and patience."
The Devils are opening a three-game homestand tonight and will try to post their first win as the host this year. New Jersey was 0-4-1 at the Prudential Center before leaving for its recent trek.
Meanwhile, the Rangers had a two-game winning streak halted with Thursday's loss in Philadelphia. Former Rangers Blair Betts and Nikolay Zherdev both notched goals for the Flyers in the 4-1 victory at the Wells Fargo Center.
Brandon Dubinsky potted the lone goal for the Rangers and has five tallies in his last six games. Henrik Lundqvist took the loss after yielding all four goals on 21 shots.
"I didn't feel they had to work that hard to get them (goals)," Lundqvist said. "I think we played pretty well. Obviously, the third one I have to have. We had a couple breakdowns overall. I just have to play better."
Thursday's loss was just the second on the road this season for the Rangers, who are 4-2-0 away from Madison Square Garden in 2010-11.
New York recorded a 3-1 home victory over the Devils on Oct. 24 to open the 2010-11 season series. The Rangers have won two straight and three of four against the Devils overall, but have dropped three out of five in the Garden State.
11/05 12:51:12 ET