The Rangers are set to embark on a six-game road trip that will begin with a two-game set in New Jersey (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

RangersEast Division Ranks /8Devils
6th  East Ranking7th

               Last time out, the Rangers were victorious 3-2 against the Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers got two quick goals from Pavel Buchnevich and Alexis Lafreniere. Chris Kreider got the game-winning goal in the second period and sealed two points for the Rangers. The Blueshirts put forward a solid defensive effort in the third period by not allowing a goal and holding the opposition to just five shots on target.

               “We’re a young team, and throughout the year, we learn,” said Adam Fox. “We played a lot smarter than we did earlier in the year with the lead in the third.”

               Filip Chytil made his return to the lineup and he registered one shot on goal in just over 16 minutes of ice time.

               “Fil always gives you moments when he jumps off the page at you cause he’s got that great speed,” said head coach David Quinn. “But, listen, he’s only had two real practices with the team… It may take a little bit of time before he gets back to where he left off.”

               The Devils have had the Rangers number this season winning both meetings. New Jersey managed nine goals against the Rangers in the two meetings. Since suffering that embarrassing 5-2 defeat on February 16th, the Rangers have gone 4-2-0 and their overall game has improved. But the Devils are struggling themselves and they enter Thursday’s game on a three-game losing streak.

               New Jersey has a clean bill of health apart from Nico Hischier and Ryan Murray. Both are currently day-to-day and their status for Thursday’s game is unknown. “No update but no bad news either,” said Devils head coach Lindy Ruff on Hischier’s status.

               Looking to extend his point-scoring streak to four games will be Alexis Lafreniere. Lafreniere recorded a goal just minutes into Tuesday night’s game. Also looking to continue his hot play will be Chris Kreider who now has seven points in his past five games including six of them being goals.

               Igor Shesterkin will make his second straight start in goal. Shesterkin made 22 saves in a winning effort on Tuesday.

               The Rangers are close to getting 20-year-old Kaapo Kakko back to the lineup. Kakko last played a game on February 18th where he scored a shootout goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. Kakko has missed the past five games due to being on the NHL COVID Protocol list. Kakko was removed from the list on Tuesday but has yet to practice with the team. Kakko was on the ice for the Thursday morning skate but will not be available in the first meeting against the Devils.

               “He’s still day-to-day,” Quinn said. “He’s certainly close. That was his first time on the ice, so we’re going to put him in the game at the right time.”

               Jacob Trouba has returned to practice in a no-contact jersey. Trouba has been out with a broken thumb but it appears he will be available soon. Quinn said that he will likely return at some point during the road trip. Anthony Bitetto who has been out with a day-to-day injury has also returned to practice.

               With Panarin still taking a leave of absence – the Rangers are expected to play the same lineup that won against the Sabres.

Projected Lineup




Lemieux-Howden-Di Giuseppe