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Devils Look for First Win Against Bitter Rivals, New York Rangers

EAST HANOVER, NJ – Four games into the season is usually way too early to start throwing in the towel. However, with how terrible the Devils (0-3-1) have looked so far, many are starting to give up hope for the once proud, elite franchise out of New Jersey.

Panic has to be felt in Newark. The Devils have not held one lead through their first four contests. The offense has looked stagnant, averaging 1.7 goals per game, and the penalty kill is operating at just 63.6 percent; ranking 27th in the NHL.

Maybe, what the Devils need to get their first win is motivation. They certainly should have plenty of that when they face-off against their hated crosstown foes, in the New York Rangers (3-2) today, at 1 p.m at Madison Square Garden.

New Jersey will use the little momentum they have, as they picked up a point in an overtime loss against the San Jose Sharks, into Sunday afternoon.

“That was one of the better games for us,” first-year coach John Hynes told ”Is it good enough yet? No. It is a step in the right direction.”

The Devils need to take a large stride in the right direction if they hope to turn around there season. That will be tough to do against all-star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers; a squad that they lost to in all four tries last year.

NHL: New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils

Devils defense-man, Andy Greene battles with Ranger’s forward, JT Miller. Photo Credit:

Something New Jersey can use to their favor is the surprising outbreak of their powerplay. They have scored on the man-advantage in every game, thus far.  The Rangers rank 20th in the league in penalty killing.  This will certainly be an aspect a desperate, New Jersey team will look to exploit against the defending Eastern Conference Champions.

It is known that the Devils are in a rebuilding phase. No one expected them to be a competitive squad this year. With a new head-coach and a ton of inexperienced, young talent, the Devils will probably take several years to get back to their Stanley Cup glory days.

Still, a match-up, featuring two historic, franchises of the NHL is something fans and players always look forward to.

“Going into their building against the Rangers, it would be real fun to get our first win there,” goalie Cory Schneider said. “It’s going to be a challenge, though, a good test. They’re obviously a real good team and they play well at home, so we’re going to have to get off to a good start and hopefully carry over some of the things we did (Friday) night.”

The defense of the Devils, led by team-captain Andy Greene and young stars such as Adam Larsson, have allowed an average of three goals per-game. They need to do more an effective job to shut down the Ranger’s offensive attack, led by veterans Rick Nash and Chris Kreider.

It has been no secret that the Rangers have had way more success then the Devils over the past two years. They have made the Stanley Cup and East Conference Finals respectively, while New Jersey has failed to even qualify for the post season.

The new faces of the Devils don’t like to reflect on the past in that regard. As they say, ‘each season, is a new season.’

“You can say all you want about how good they are and what kind of success they’ve had. When it comes down to it, it’s the National Hockey League and everyone is here for a reason. We’re going to go in there (today) with a chance to win,” right-winger, Kyle Palmieri told

Schneider isn’t downplaying the importance of the game either.

“This will be a real good game for us to get that first win and maybe raise the emotion level a little bit. Sometimes you need those turning point games and a rival brings out the best in you,” he said. “We have enough guys here who’ve played in this rivalry long enough to know what it means. To get a win on their ice, the first one of the year for us, would be really important.”







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