With the NHL’s regular season in its final week Jerry Hughes Jersey
, the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers have differing agendas heading into Tuesday night’s clash at the Prudential Center.
While the Devils (42-28-9) zero in on clinching their first postseason berth since the 2011-12 season, the Rangers (34-36-9) play out the string, set to miss the playoffs for only the second time in 13 years.
“I think we’re excited about it,” Devils coach John Hynes said of a likely return to the playoffs next week. “But the big thing — we’ve talked about it, too — it’s about our game. Whether we’re up seven or three points (in the standings), you can’t get too wrapped up in those situations.”
Certainly, the Devils put all distractions aside during an impressive finish to the regular season. New Jersey is 5-0-1 in its last six games and 8-2-1 since March 10.
With three games left on the schedule, the Devils can clinch a playoff spot as early as Tuesday night depending on what they and the ninth-place Florida Panthers do in their respective games.
“We always say that every game is the most important game of the season,” offered Devils rookie Nico Hischier, who scored his 19th goal in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. “It’s not just me that wants it. Every single guy in here wants these wins and knows every game is two huge points.”
During the weekend Dorance Armstrong Jr. Jersey
, the Devils admittedly were not at their best in beating two of the league’s weaker teams — the Islanders and the Canadiens — yet they still took all four points.
Taylor Hall continued his push for Hart Trophy consideration by extending his point-scoring streak to eight games, finishing the weekend sweep with the game-winning short-handed goal late in the third period in Montreal.
“He’s been our MVP all year long, and the best player in the league in my opinion,” teammate Brian Boyle said of Hall, who has 37 goals and 89 points this season.
There’s no playoff or MVP talk for the first time in a long time with the Rangers this year. Sabotaged by poor play and then gutted by a series of trades of key veteran players, the Rangers barely resemble the team that reached three Eastern Conference finals since 2012, not to mention the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
Yet the Rangers played hard down the stretch with a young roster that is absent two more experienced players on Tuesday. Forwards Jesper Fast and Mats Zuccarello are both ruled out for the game — Fast with a groin injury, Zuccarello with an undisclosed injury after blocking a series of shots recently.
“We have a lot of young, talented players. It’s been fun to play with them,” Rangers alternate captain Marc Staal said. “With our situation and with what happened Denzelle Good Jersey
, there are a few older guys here, and it’s fun for us to feel the energy of the younger players, and their excitement coming to the rink.”
The Rangers, who are 2-4-2 in their last eight games, beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in their most recent game on Saturday. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves in the win, the seventh time this season he had that many.
“We’re just trying to finish out the season strong, playing hard, trying to play well,” Lundqvist explained. “Once we get to the offseason, then I will think about everything that happened this year.”
Tuesday marks the fourth and final meeting between the Hudson River rivals in 2017-18. The Devils are 2-1-0 against the Rangers http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/damien-wilson-jersey
, winning the only other game played in Newark, 4-3 in a shootout on Dec. 21.
Travis Frederick will not go on injured reserve initially as he battles a condition that affects the nervous system, although the Dallas Cowboys still don't have a timetable for the return of their four-time Pro Bowl center.
Coach Jason Garrett said Monday that Frederick hasn't had any "drastic setbacks" while getting treated for Guillain-Barre syndrome. The disorder attacks nerves and causes weakness in various parts of the body.
Joe Looney is expected to start when the Cowboys open the season Sunday at Carolina.
The 27-year-old Frederick traveled with the team to the final preseason game in Houston and is attending meetings. He has started all 83 games, including three playoff games, over five seasons. A move to IR would force Frederick to miss at least eight games.
"It's been positive since he started his treatments," Garrett said. "And that's given us cause to be optimistic. He's working out on his own. He's been able to handle the work so far. From my perspective, the information that I've gotten, there hasn't been any drastic setbacks in any way."
The Cowboys added depth on the interior line by claiming center Adam Redmond on waivers from Buffalo and acquiring Kansas City backup Parker Ehinger in a trade. Ehinger was a fourth-round pick two years ago.
Dallas doesn't want to move four-time Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin to center, but he is the emergency option. Martin injured a knee in the second preseason game against Cincinnati but says he will be ready to start against the Panthers.
Frederick hasn't spoken to reporters since announcing his diagnosis almost two weeks ago.
"He reached out to me and said, 'Coach William Karlsson Jersey
, would you mind if I came to Houston? I'd like to be part of the visit to NASA and I'd like to be part of the team when we play on Thursday night,'" Garrett said. "I said, 'Would I mind? Are you kidding me? I'd absolutely love to have you be a part of it.'
"He's been very proactive and he's taken the initiative of being back and being part of our team and trying to be involved in everything that we do short of going out on the practice field."
Frederick, Martin and left tackle Tyron Smith 鈥?all first-round picks and all Pro Bowlers each of the past four seasons 鈥?have anchored a line that the Cowboys hope can make them a run-first team with Ezekiel Elliott, the NFL rushing leader as a rookie in 2016.
La'el Collins is going into his second year as the starter at right tackle, and rookie second-round pick Connor Williams is at left guard.
NOTES: The Cowboys placed WR Noah Brown (hamstring) on IR and brought back WR Deonte Thompson in his place. Thompson was among the final cuts after signing as a free agent in the offseason, but Garrett said the Cowboys intended to bring him back. Thompson was slowed by an Achilles injury most of training camp. ... Rookie RB Bo Scarbrough of Alabama, a seventh-round pick, was signed to the practice squad. Arizona Cardinals Jerseys