NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Sunday, December 17th
(All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (17-12-2) at New York Rangers (18-11-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers attempt to rebound from their worst
loss of the season tonight when the New Jersey Devils invade Madison Square
Garden for a battle between the top two teams in the Atlantic Division.
The Rangers were walloped by a 9-2 score last night in Toronto, the most
goals New York has allowed in a game since a 9-1 loss at Ottawa on January 24,
Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovsky each had five-point nights for the Maple
Leafs, with Wellwood recording a hat trick and two assists and Ponikarovsky
compiling two goals and three helpers.
Darius Kasparaitis had a goal and an assist while Martin Straka also tallied
for the Rangers. Jaromir Jagr assisted on both goals.
New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist had a disastrous night, stopping just 16-
of-24 shots before he was replaced by Kevin Weekes in the third period.
The Rangers had been flying high prior to Saturday's debacle, winning five
consecutive games and allowing only seven total goals over that stretch.
New Jersey also had a disappointing result on Saturday, as Detroit's Pavel
Datsyuk and Brett Lebda each had third-period goals to rally the Red Wings to
a 2-1 triumph.
Detroit snapped a nine-game and 13-year winless streak in New Jersey, which
included a pair of losses in the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals. The last time the
Red Wings had won at Continental Airlines Arena was November 20, 1993.
Scott Gomez scored the lone goal for New Jersey and Martin Brodeur made 34
saves in the loss, the Devils' third in a row.
New Jersey, which is 6-9-1 on the road this season, currently stands in second
place in the Atlantic Division, four points behind the frontrunning Rangers.
New York has won both meetings between the rivals this season, both of which
have taken place at the Garden. The Rangers have also won five of their last
six regular-season matchups with the Devils as the home team.
However, New Jersey won twice at MSG as part of a four-game sweep of New York
in the opening round of last year's Eastern Conference playoffs.
12/17 10:19:47 ET