New York Rangers @ New Jersey Devils
7:00 pm, The Rock
Rangers Record: 29-28-9
Devils Record: 38 - 23 - 3
One of the New York Rangers fondest rivalries is renewed tonight in New Jersey as they take on the Devils in Newark.
Coming off a disappointing OT loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the Rangers continue to be in the thick of the battle for the bottom Eastern Conference playoff seeds.
The Devils are trying to avoid their third straight loss as they return from a late season west coast swing. New Jersey defeated San Jose 4 - 3 early last week before losing 5 - 3 to Calgary and being shutout 2 - 0 in Edmonton.
Despite their major acquisition of sniper Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils have cooled off, with a record of 3 - 6 - 1 in their last 10 games.
Kovalchuk is averaging nearly a point-per-game in his nine games with the club, with three goals and five assists, but hasn't established the chemistry that Devils GM Lou Lamoriello had hoped.
Another notable force has been tamed for perhaps the first time since his rookie season. Goaltender Martin Brodeur struggled in the Olympics, eventually giving way to the Canucks' Roberto Luongo.
Brodeur has looked noticeably tired and that was only further evident during the Olympics. The usual workhorse has not had the same sharp motions and confidence that has made him one of the greatest goaltenders of all time.
He has currently played in 61 games and it appears that the Devils are prepared to ride him all the way to the playoffs.
Brodeur has skated in all three contests since the Olympics, allowing 10 goals.
In the last match-up, the Rangers defeated the Devils 3 - 1 and clearly got to Kovalchuk and Brodeur.
For the Rangers to have similar success tonight, they will continue to rely on the added minutes of Americans Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan. Both have seen considerably upgrades in ice time since the Olympics.
Success will also rest on the shoulders of winger Marian Gaborik and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Both have not been up to snuff since the Olympics, with Gaborik still ailing from a groin injury and Lundqvist also feeling some fatigue.
Stay tuned tonight on Twitter for in-game updates and analysi