W2W4: Rangers vs. Devils

December, 7, 2013
12/07/13
12:23
PM ET
At a glance: Hosting their Hudson Division rivals at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, the Rangers aim to achieve some separation from the .500 record that has pinned them squarely in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings. Coming off a win over the lowly Sabres on Thursday night, the Rangers face the New Jersey Devils for the third time this season. The Devils, playing in back-to-back nights, are coming off a 3-1 loss to Detroit on Friday and trail the Rangers by a mere two points.

Miller time: Recently-recalled J.T. Miller will play for the Rangers on Saturday, this time in a more offensive role. Limited primarily to the fourth line in recent stints, Miller will get an opportunity to skate on a line with Derick Brassard and Carl Hagelin in his first game back since being summoned from the AHL on Friday.

Back to the bench: Michael Del Zotto is already back on the sidelines, where he will watch Saturday night’s match. The embattled defenseman has been a healthy scratch five times previously this season, sparking rampant trade rumors and speculation.

Not the only one: Del Zotto isn’t the only one in Vigneault’s doghouse. Benoit Pouliot will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season, as Taylor Pyatt draws into the lineup in his place. Vigneault has been critical of Pouliot’s inconsistent play before, and it appears as if he has lost his patience with the 27-year-old forward trying to find his way. Derek Dorsett will also sit out the Metro match-up with an injured wrist.

Must-win: According to the Newark Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere, veteran Devils forward Jaromir Jagr called Saturday’s game against the Rangers a “must-win.” The Devils, winless in their past three games, are two games under .500 right now at 11-13-6 and with a two-game road trip against the Blue Jackets and the Penguins upcoming.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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