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Carter returns to the lineup vs. Rangers

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 1:05 PM / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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Carter returns to the lineup vs. Rangers
Carter returns to the lineup vs. Rangers
 
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils have an opportunity to inch one step closer to the second of the Eastern Conference's two wild-card spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday when they host the New York Rangers at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET, MSG, MSG PLUS).

The Devils enter the game against their Metropolitan Division rival trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets by five points for the second wild-card spot with eight of their remaining 12 regular-season games at home. The Blue Jackets travel to Uniondale, N.Y., on Sunday for a matinee against the New York Islanders. The Devils are seven points behind the Rangers with a game in hand.

The Devils have won three of the previous four meetings against the Rangers and are expected to have fourth-line left wing Ryan Carter back in the lineup. Carter missed the past three games with an upper-body injury but was skating with usual partners Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier during the morning skate Saturday. Left wing Tim Sestito, who on Monday was recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League, is out with an upper-body injury.

"It will be good to get him back," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said of Carter. "We'll need that line's energy against these guys. They've had a history of playing well as a line against the Rangers and we'll need that."

Carter has three goals, four points and 30 penalty minutes in 19 games against the Rangers and is looking forward to returning to the lineup.

"As I've said before, in terms of rivalry and passion, I haven't been involved in one like the Devils-Rangers since probably high school," he said. "To have one at the NHL level makes it easy to get up for these games."

DeBeor opted for seven defensemen in a 4-3 overtime victory against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, and it paid off despite the fact Sestito's injury in the first period left the Devils with 10 forwards. Based on the morning skate, defensemen Eric Gelinas and Peter Harrold, and forward Damien Brunner appear to be the healthy scratches against the Rangers.

"The Rangers are a four-line team and when we lost Sestito we were forced to go to three lines early," DeBoer said. "We'll need four lines [against the Rangers]."

Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur is the starter; he is 49-31-5 with 15 ties, nine shutouts, a 2.18 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 100 regular-season games against the Rangers.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51

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