BY: DAVID KOLB
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (12-9-6) @ NEW YORK RANGERS (19-9-1)
DEVILS BACK IN THE GARDEN
Tonight the Rangers and Devils renew their rivalry at Madison Square Garden, skating against each other for the first time since Feb. 23. The game is the first of four meetings between the clubs this season, and the first of two meetings at The Garden.
Rangers center Derek Stepan had only five assists in his first nine games of the season, however No. 21 has picked it up as of late and enters tonight’s contest with six points (1 goal, 5 assists) in his last five games and nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) in his last 11. Stepan’s latest scoring splurge has him one point behind J.T. Miller for the team-lead in points and currently leads the Blueshirts in assists with 15.
O FROM DEVS D
The offense that has been provided by the Devils’ defensemen has been a substantial key to their success this season. They have notched nine of the teams last 38 goals through the past 14 games, and have scored 15 of 67 regulation/OT goals (22.4%) this season. John Moore leads the backliners with four goals, while Damon Severson and Andy Greene have provided three goals apiece.
MILLER TIME MEANS WINS
J.T. Miller leads the Rangers in points this season with eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. He currently owns an impressive plus-11 rating while amazingly, the Blueshirts have built a 15-1-0 record in games Miller has registered at least a point.
ZAJAC TOPS DEVILS SCORERS
Travis Zajac currently leads the Devils with 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists), and looks to get back on the scoresheet tonight after playing two games (both losses) without any. Zajac is hoping to surpass his career-best 2009-10 totals of 67 points (25 goals, 42 assists) and enters tonight’s game with 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 all-time points against the Rangers.