Posted April 26, 2013 on
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The New York Rangers eliminated the New Jersey Devils from playoff contention in their last meeting nearly a week ago. While the Devils can't exact that kind of revenge Saturday, they do have the chance to play a role in whether the Rangers get a more favorable first-round matchup.
A game after clinching a playoff spot with a late comeback, plenty will still be unsettled for the Rangers when they take on the Devils at Madison Square Garden in their season finale.
New York (25-18-4) guaranteed its up-and-down season would extend past this weekend with a 4-3 overtime victory over Carolina on Thursday. The Rangers blew a 2-0 lead and trailed before Brad Richards scored with 2:57 left in regulation on a shot that hit the boards behind the net and went in off goaltender Dan Ellis.
Captain Ryan Callahan then scored on New York's only shot of OT, settling off a celebration of his team's third straight playoff berth.
" ... now we're in the playoffs and that's all that matters," Callahan said. "It's a new season now. We take these last two weeks where we've been playing good hockey into the playoffs, and we'll be a dangerous team."
Due to the tightly bunched postseason picture, the Rangers might not have any idea of where they'll finish or who they'll play until the end of the weekend, as they could end up anywhere from sixth through eighth.
The only thing the Rangers can control is the result of their finale, and it might benefit them significantly to not let up. An eighth-place finish means a first-round matchup with high-powered Pittsburgh, which won the season series 4-1-0.
Though numerous scenarios abound, New York can guarantee avoiding the Penguins with a victory over the Devils.
For that reason, Henrik Lundqvist could make his 14th straight start rather than getting a game off before the postseason.
"We have one more game and it can still change a lot of things here going into the playoffs, so let's focus on that game," said a smiling Lundqvist, 9-3-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average in the past 13. "I still think it's an important game for us and then we're gonna start thinking about what's ahead, but Saturday first."
Despite their poor season, the Devils may be motivated to defeat the Rangers after last Sunday, when a 4-1 loss to New York knocked the defending Eastern Conference champions from contention. New Jersey (19-18-10) has also been playing well, winning four of five.
The Devils beat Pittsburgh 3-2 on Thursday in their home finale, and they'll now try to avoid a third consecutive loss to the Rangers.
"It's too bad (Saturday's) game is not going to mean anything," said forward Ilya Kovalchuk, who has points in his last four overall and one goal and four assists in his past five versus New York. "It would have been more fun if the game meant something, but I think it's great for the league that (the Rangers) are in because they are a franchise with a lot of history.
"They have good players and deserve to be in. We're just going in there to try our best to win the last game."
One negative that came out of Thursday's game for New York was an apparent leg injury to forward Ryane Clowe, who had to be helped off the ice and did not return. His status is uncertain.
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AROUND THE WEB
Gerry Broome/Associated Press
It’s always interesting looking at the penalty statistics each season, and this year is no different. PIMs are a bit misleading, as there’s no real difference between someone who takes undisciplined stick penalties and some heat of the moment roughing/fighting penalties. Ok, fights are easily tracked, but the minor penalties aren’t in the PIMs...
The New York Rangers entered Thursday night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes needing a win or a regulation loss by the Winnipeg Jets at home against the Montreal Canadiens to punch their ticket to the postseason. At practice Thursday morning leading goal scorer Rick Nash said, “We’re not scoreboard watching. It’s in our hands, so we want [...]
Pick a team, any team…
With the Rangers finally clinching a playoff spot last night with their win over Carolina, the final game of the season against the Devils has lost some significance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m tremendously grateful that the boys from Newark don’t get to play spoiler against us a week after we eliminated them from postseason contention. However...
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Rangers captain Ryan Callahan scored 2:55 into overtime, and New York rallied to clinch a third straight Eastern Conference playoff berth by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Thursday night.
Brad Richards tied it for the Rangers with 2:57 remaining in regulation after New York blew an early 2-0 lead and fell behind already-eliminated Carolina.
Derek Stepan and...
Lots of injury news as Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record says that while Ryane Clowe did not practice today, John Tortorella expects him to be an important player for the Rangers in the playoffs.
...with the Newbury recall, it's highly unlikely he'll be in the Rangers line-up against the Devils tomorrow, however, Torts' comments has me optimistic about his return...
Yesterday, John Tortorella was a guest on the Michael Kay Radio Show (ESPN Radio) and discussed how this year, despite the Rick Nash trade, was a sideway step for the team and just because the Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals didn't mean the Finals were a guarantee...
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...this was the second...
There is still no word on Ryane Clowe's condition after he was forced to leave last night's game with either a leg injury or an elbow to the head by Bobby Sanguinetti. Larry Brooks at the New York Post speculates that it's a right leg injury.
In an early indication of how bad it might be, the Rangers recalled Kris Newbury after the game.
...no idea what the injury...
The New York Rangers are headed back to the Eastern Conference playoffs because all the important bounces down the stretch went their way.
One ricocheted off the boards and into the net. Another glanced off a post on its way in.
Captain Ryan Callahan scored 2:55 into overtime, and New York rallied to clinch a third straight playoff berth by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on...
With Ottawa’s regulation loss against Philly tonight, the Rangers have locked in the number 6 seed and a date with the Caps in the first round.
The New York Rangers (25-18-4) host the New Jersey Devils (19-18-10) at Madison Square Garden starting at 3:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.
Rangers Game Notes
TV: NBC; Radio: ESPN Radio 98.7FM, XM 212
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Match-up - New Jersey Devils (19-18-10) @ New York Rangers (25-18-4)
Road/Home records - 6-9-8 -------------- 15-6-2
TV - NBC
Puck drop - 3:00 PM ET
Season series - Rangers lead 2-1
Last 10: Devils 4-5-1 / Rangers 7-3-0
Projected starting goalies - Johan Hedberg (NJ) vs. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)
Battle of the stats
Ilya Kovalchuk scored his first goal since suffering a shoulder injury last month, giving the New Jersey Devils a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.
Kovalchuk's goal with 6:10 remaining helped New Jersey overcome a 2-0 deficit and win its home finale.
Travis Zajac and David Clarkson also scored for the Devils. Johan Hedberg made 15 saves in his first start...
The New York Rangers (25-18-4) defeated the Carolina Hurricanes (19-24-4) by the score of 4-3 in overtime, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...welcome to the playoffs Rangers fans!!!!!!! As has been the case all season, the Blueshirts didn't make it easy on their fans tonight, but who cares. They're in the playoffs and anything can happen.
That is the perfect description for the New York Rangers' 4-0 shutout this afternoon at Madison Square Garden over the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils did not seem to be interested in playing a meaningless game and that showed in their loss this afternoon. The Blueshirts were able to catch the Devils out of position on all four of their goals as the team simply took advantage...
Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddCordell.
Match-up - Pittsburgh Penguins (35-11-0) @ New Jersey Devils (18-18-10)
Road/Home records - 18-5-0 -------------- 12-9-2
TV - NBCSN, ROOT, MSG Plus
Puck drop - 7:30 PM ET
Season series - Devils lead 2-1
Last 10: Penguins 7-3-0 / Devils 3-6-1
Projected starting goalies - Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT) vs. Johan Hedberg (NJ)
Battle of the...