Devils-Rangers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 26, 2013
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker