Rangers, Devils set to resume rivalry at MSG
DEVILS (35-22-4) at RANGERS (39-15-6)
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New Jersey 6-3-1; New York 6-3-1
This is the fourth of six meetings between the cross-river rivals. The Devils have won two of the first three matchups, including a 4-3 shootout victory on Jan. 31 at the Prudential Center.
Have the Rangers pulled out of the Rick Nash sweepstakes?
ESPN New York reported Sunday night that Rangers general manager Glen Sather refused to meet Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson's demands to land the 27-year-old superstar forward. According to multiple reports, Howson is seeking a roster player, top prospect and a first-round pick, if not more.
"If a deal is not reached, then the list of acceptable teams will not change at a later date," Nash's agent Joe Resnick told TSN Saturday.
A pair of back-to-back regulation losses has dropped New Jersey from fourth to sixth in the Eastern Conference, as the Devils once again failed to pick up any points in a 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Prudential Center on Sunday afternoon. But the Devils have little time to dwell on their latest one-goal loss, as they cross the Hudson River to battle the first-place Blueshirts Monday night.
"Regardless of where these guys (the Lightning) are in the standings they have some really good players and they won the game for them," Devils captain Zach Parise
said. "The way the standings are, the way we need to play, it's hard but you should be able to, regardless of who you're playing against, bring that intensity. Whether a team is first in the conference or you're playing (the Lightning), it's going to be a hard game. That's how equal everything is. We have to do a better job."
After coming up short in a 4-3 shootout loss on Long Island on Friday night, the Rangers bounced back with a 3-2 overtime victory against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Ryan Callahan scored the game-winner, the 100th NHL goal of his career.
"I thought it was a really solid 60-minute game out of us," Callahan said. "In the last stretch, we've been a little inconsistent. We didn't get the wins we wanted to. I think it was important tonight for us to come out and have a good 60-minute game."
Parise has 2 goals and an assist in his last five games. … Rangers forward Marian Gaborik has goals in back-to-back games and has 19 points in his last 18 contests, while Callahan has 7 goals in his last nine games.
The Devils will be without Travis Zajac
(sore ACL) and Henrik Tallinder
(leg). … Rangers defenseman Michael Sauer (concussion) is out indefinitely.
Stat Pack: Marek Zidlicky
, who made his Devils' debut Sunday after being acquired from the Minnesota Wild, received 19:37 of ice time and registered one shot on goal with a minus-2 rating.
"They got a break, got a 2-on-0, they scored. They got a power play, they scored. We're right behind the eight ball. At this time of the year you're going to face teams like that and you have to find ways to win. We battled back, but our mistakes were the difference." -- Devils goalie Martin Brodeur
after Sunday's 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay