Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/12/13
The Devils will dress the same lineup for tonight’s game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden as they used in Sunday’s 5-0 win over Nashville with defenseman Mark Fayne as the lone healthy scratch. Left wing Patrik Elias remains out with back spasms and center Stephen Gionta remains out with a sore right ankle. Devils coach Pete DeBoer said he saw Gionta this morning and he’s “getting better.” DeBoer said Elias’ back has taken “no worse turns.” “I would call it lingering,” DeBoer said of Elias’ back problem. “That’s probably the best word.” This will be the second meeting of this season between the Devils and Rangers. The Devils defeated the Rangers, 4-0, on Oct. 19 at Prudential Center to pick up their first win of the season. Both teams are playing better now than they were then, though. The Devils (5-7-5) were 0-4-3 before that game and 5-3-2, including that win, since then. The Rangers (9-8-0) have won three in a row and six of their last seven to climb above .500 for the first time this season. “It’s going to be a big challenge for us,” right wing Jaromir Jagr said. “I know they’ve started playing a lot better than they did before. So, did we, I think. I think it’s going to be a different game than it was the last time we played them. That was an ugly game. I wouldn’t pay money to watch that game the last time we played them. That was ugly. I was embarrassed.” The Devils were missing Elias (food poisoning), Damien Brunner (upper back injury) and Ryane Clowe (concussion symptoms) for that Oct. 19. The Rangers were without forwards Rick Nash (concussion), Ryan Callahan (broken left thumb) and Carl Hagelin (left shoulder). Callahan and Hagelin are back playing now, but Nash remains out. That the Devils won that Oct. 19 game was important, but Jagr hopes tonight’s game will be better played. “We kind of needed that game, but it was ugly,” he said. “It was just crappy. We scored four goals, but it wasn’t hockey. Both teams struggled back then and needed a victory. They came from the big trip on the West Coast and they were losing a lot, so they didn’t play very well. And we didn’t play that well either. Back then, we hadn’t won a game yet. So, that was a very bad hockey game. So, hopefully, it’s not going to happen again.” Martin Brodeur will start in net for the Devils against Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers. Cory Schneider started the last time the teams met and posted a 22-save shutout. Brodeur is coming off shutouts in this lat two starts and has allowed only two goals on 75 shots over his last four starts. He has a personal shutout streak of 165 minutes and 31 seconds dating back to Brayden Schenn’s deflection goal with 5:31 left in the second period of a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 2. “I know Marty really gets fired up for these games,” DeBoer said. “He does for all games. There’s some great tradition where with the two teams with some of the games and some of the series they’ve had.”
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