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3/14: Rangers, Devils and Islanders Game Previews

by Photo of Gil Santos

The Rangers look to bounce back while the Devils and Islanders try to continue their winning ways.

3/14: Rangers, Devils and Islanders Game Previews

The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils continue their playoff push in enemy territory whereas the New York Islanders come home after their three-game road Canadian trip.

New York Rangers (35-28-4, 74 pts) at Winnipeg Jets (30-28-9)

The Rangers aim to break their two-game losing streak when they face the Winnipeg Jets tonight for their second meeting of the season. The Jets are winless in their last five games. Back in December, the Jets defeated the Rangers, 5-2, on the back of Olli Jokinen's two goals in the third period. The Blue Shirts cling on to the final playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division with the Philadelphia Flyers and Devils just two and three points behind them, respectively. Martin St. Louis is also still seeking his first goal in a Ranger jersey. Henrik Lundqvist is the starter in goal after sitting out against the Minnesota Wild last night. The Jets will go with Ondrej Pavelec on back to back nights.

Who's Hot: Ryan McDonagh - The top defenseman is scorching hot, collecting six points in his last six games. He also has three goals in that span as he continues his career statistical year. 

Who's Not: Derek Brassard - Brassard is having yet another solid season for the Rangers but is without a point in his last six games. In addition, Brassard hasn't found the net since the beginning of the month against the Flyers. 

New Jersey Devils (29-24-13, 71 pts) at Florida Panthers (24-35-7, 55 pts)

Following a thrilling victory against the Flyers, the Devils have a great opportunity to gain ground in the playoff race as they take on one of the league's worst teams. The Devils are 5-2-0 since the Olympic Break while the Panthers have lost eight of their last 10. But they cannot take the Panthers lightly. In their last meeting, the Devils needed a last second goal in overtime to squeak by the Panthers, 2-1 at the Prudential Center. Cory Schenider receives the start in goal to set up a match-up against friend and former Vancouver Canuck teammate Roberto Luongo. 

Who's Hot: Jaromir Jagr - The leading point-scorer for the Devils has eight points in his last seven games, including 4 goals in that span. 

Who's Not: Dainius Zubrus - Following a strong start to the season, Zubrus cooled off considerably. The bruising forward just has one point in his last 11 games. 

New York Islanders (25-33-9, 59 pts) at San Jose Sharks (43-17-7, 93 pts)

The Islanders are home to face one of the hottest teams in the NHL, the San Jose Sharks. The Isles are coming off a 7-4 comeback win against the Canucks, where they scored an eye-popping seven goals in the third period on Monday. Meanwhile, the Sharks are currently on a four-game winning streak and beat the Columbus Blue Jackets last night in a shootout. The Islanders took the first game between the two teams in a 3-2 shootout back in December. It will be a tough test for the Islanders, but they have shown a lot of fight despite losing their best players to trades and injuries. Evgeni Nabakov gets the start in net against the Sharks' Antti Niemi.

Who's Hot: Ryan Strome - The promising 20-year-old center has five points in his last seven games and is starting to show why Islanders fans are excited about the top prospect.

Who's Not: Evegeni Nabakov - Nabakov has allowed at least three goals in his last six starts. He needs to be much better if the Isles want to compete against an offensive powerhouse like Sharks. 

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