After dropping the third game of this playoff series in overtime and watching their lead over the Devils be cut in half, the Rangers are in need of a bounce back effort tonight in Game 4. Although Gerard Gallant’s squad didn’t play particularly overall the 0/5 showing on the man advantage and an inability to solve Akira Schmid more than once on Saturday was enough room for the Devils to earn their first win of the series.
While the Game 3 defeat wasn’t one that set the residents of Rangerstown into a panic, another defeat to even the series up at two wins apiece would be cause for alarm. All three of New York’s playoff series’ last year involved someone holding a two game series lead before eventually losing the series. The Blueshirts clawed back from deficits of 3-1 and 2-0 to win series last spring, while also being on the losing end of a 4-2 series after having initially led the Eastern Conference Finals 2-0. If somebody turns a two game deficit into an eventual series win, that’ll mean the Rangers season has ended early, and another loss tonight could set the stage for that.
New Jersey Devils Lines:
Timo Meier – Nico Hischier – Jesper Bratt
Erik Haula – Jack Hughes – Ondrej Palat
Tomas Tatar – Michael McLeod – Dawson Mercer
Jesper Boqvist – Curtis Lazar – Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves – John Marino
Kevin Bahl – Damon Serverson
New York Rangers Lines:
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Patrick Kane
Artemiy Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey – Barclay Goodrow – Tyler Motte
Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Niko Mikkola – Braden Schneider
Player to Watch: Artemiy Panarin
After recording a pair off assists in the opening game of the series, Panarin has been held off the score sheet entirely for each of the last two games. Still in search of his first goal of the playoffs, Panarin was the object of Larry Brooks’ ire in his most recent column, calling on the Blueshirts’ highest paid player to perform like it on the biggest stage. Keep an eye on Panarin as he looks to turn things around and help the Rangers keep this series under control.
Enjoy the game!