DEVILS (4-3-0) at RANGERS (7-2-0)
Season series -- This is the second meeting of the season between the teams. The Rangers came away with a 3-2 victory at the PrudentialCenter on Oct. 5 behind goals by Michael Del Zotto, Matt Gilroy and Ales Kotalik.
Big story -- The Rangers had their seven-game winning streak snapped -- shattered, melted and disintegrated is more like it -- when they lost 7-3 at home to the San Jose Sharks on Monday. Meanwhile, the Devils have won 4 of 5 since the loss to the Rangers.
Devils -- After allowing 8 goals in his first two games, goaltender Martin Brodeur has allowed just 11 in his last five. He picked up his 102nd career shutout in a 2-0 win against the Hurricanes on Saturday and should be well-rested entering tonight's contest with the Rangers.
Brodeur is one away from tying Terry Sawchuk's all-time record for shutouts. Could it come against the Devils' biggest rivals?
"It's a hard one to figure out because you never know when the next one (is coming)," Brodeur told the Star-Ledger. "I'm closer. If we get shutouts it means we get wins. It means everybody is happy. That's the bottom line."
Rangers -- Coach John Tortorella saw his team edging closer and closer to the cliff during their hot streak, but the Rangers kept finding ways to win. After Monday's blowout loss, though, he was ready to get back to the drawing board.
"We have some things to work on," Tortorella said.
One of those things could be team discipline. In their past three games, the Rangers have taken 21 penalties. "That's my biggest frustration," Tortorella said. "You talk about momentum swings … it just wrecks the flow of a game."
Who's hot -- The Devils have just four goals in their past two game, but Zach Parise (2 goals, 1 assist) has had a hand in three of them.
Rangers rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto continues to find the back of the net. He has goals in two straight games, four points in his last two games, and points in seven of his last eight games.
Injury report -- One month after arthroscopic surgery on his groin, Patrik Elias has yet to begin skating with the Devils. Defenseman Cory Murphy was placed on waivers this week, which could open the door for Mark Fraser, who has been out with a head injury.
The Rangers have no new injuries to report.
Stat pack -- The Rangers' Marian Gaborik (6 goals, 6 assists) had 12 points in his first 8 games of the season, but was held off the scoresheet by the Sharks on Monday. Through seven games, the Devils have yet to receive a goal from a defenseman.
Puck drop -- It will be interesting to see how the Rangers rebound from their biggest loss to the season. Will they get back on track with Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, or will the undisciplined play continue? This is the start of stretch where the Devils play four of five on the road, so they'd like a nice start to the time away from home with a win against their biggest rivals.
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