The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils pick up their Hudson River rivalry Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, meeting for the first time since Feb. 23.
These Metropolitan Division foes are headed in opposite directions.
The first-place Rangers won two straight, three of four and already have 19 victories and 39 points through the first 29 games this season.
The Devils, on the other hand, are struggling mightily in all facets of their game the past few weeks. After a surprising 9-3-3 start, New Jersey won three times since Nov. 17, posting a 3-6-3 record. The Devils are in the bottom three in the division with 30 points.
Facing a rival like the Rangers just might be the tonic New Jersey needs at this point to cure some of its ills. It has almost always been the case that the Rangers bring out the best in the Devils, who won three of four games against New York a year ago.
"When you play the Rangers, obviously with the rivalry, it's always a motivational game," Devils coach John Hynes said. "We're going through a tough time right now, but we'll look to be a better team against the Rangers (Sunday)."
New Jersey struggles on the road, posting a 4-8-4 record away from the Prudential Center. Sunday's contest is the start of a four-game road trip for the Devils, and part of a stretch in which they play six of nine on the road. >>Read more. ...