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Game Thread: 12/18 Devils at Rangers

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Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in a week, the New York Rangers host their rivals from across the river, as the New Jersey Devils are in town tonight. These two teams have been trending in opposite directions as of late, with New York currently riding a two game winning streak and the Devils marred in a five game losing streak. New Jersey has only scored six goals during those five games, so the Rangers will want try to keep the Devils offense from breaking out tonight.

Jack wrote that first paragraph of the game thread. Didn't he do a nice job?

There was no morning skate today for either team. The Rangers are coming off of a big shootout win in Tennessee and the Devils haven't won a hockey game in five consecutive games.

Taylor Hall has 20 points in 22 games for the Devils this year but the team leader is Travis Zajac who has 23 points in 30 games. The Devils lost last night on the road to the Ottawa Senators by a score of 3-1.

The Devils' projected lineup for tonight as per Dan Rosen of NHL.com:

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood -- Adam Henrique -- Michael Cammalleri

Sergey Kalinin -- Jacob Josefson -- Nick Lappin

Luke Gazdic -- Vernon Fiddler -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

Jon Merrill -- Ben Lovejoy

John Moore -- Kyle Quincey

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Something is very wrong with Cory Schneider and the Devils' defense this year. For all the talk about Henrik Lundqvist's slow start, Schneider has a .905 save percentage, a 2.88 goals against average and he still spells "Cory" without an "e".

But as we all know when the Devils and Rangers play the rules and trends sometimes go out the window. This is a big game for both teams. The last time the Rangers played New Jersey (December 11th) they smoked them 5-0.

Rick Nash has goals in back-to-back games for the Rangers after returning from his injury. He is worth keeping an eye on tonight.

After tonight's game the Rangers will be back in action in Pittsburgh on Tuesday at 7:00pm.