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Devils, Rangers look to shake off disappointing losses
The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are coming off disappointing losses Friday night.
Only one team will exit the ice satisfied with the outcome Saturday night when the Devils and Rangers begin their season series at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers are 1-4 after Kevin Hayes scored the lone goal in their 3-1 loss at Columbus.
The Devils are 3-1 after allowing three power play goals during their 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals.
The fourth highest-scoring team in the NHL last season, the Rangers have scored a combined four goals in their past three games.
"We're just coming up short; it's not enough," Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "There are a lot of areas we're doing well, but the one thing we have to clean up is the turnovers.
Defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, who played in the first three games of the season for New York, was a healthy scratch in the past two. Though the 21-year-old defenseman would not require waivers to be sent to the AHL, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said DeAngelo would remain in the NHL.
"I'm going to get him back in," Vigneault said. "It's a game of numbers. We've got eight (defensemen) right now. I love that skill set. I love the fact that he's a right-handed shot. For us, there's a lot of potential there."
Defenseman Brendan Smith, who was a healthy scratch in the Rangers past two games, returned to the lineup on Friday and played 18 minutes.
After allowing a combined six goals in winning its first three games of the season, New Jersey turned in its worst defensive showing of the young season against Washington.
"We were not a very difficult team to play against tonight, and in other games, we were," New Jersey head coach John Hynes said. "There are lots of lessons to take from this game."
Devils right wing Drew Stafford could return to the lineup against the Rangers. He sustained a lower-body injury during New Jersey's first game of the season against the Colorado Avalanche.
He skated on Friday morning, but missed his third straight game.
"We'll see how it is (Saturday) and we'll go from there," Stafford said, according to the Bergen Record. "I'm definitely close."
Devils left wing Taylor Hall scored his first goal of the season on Friday. Right wing Kyle Palmieri, who led the Devils in goals last season, also scored his first.
New Jersey goaltender Cory Schneider allowed a season-high five goals against the Capitals, after stopping 110 of 116 shots in his first three starts, and not allowing more than three goals in each.
The Rangers won three of four meetings against the Devils last season, and earned seven of an eight possible points. Three of those games went to overtime.
Schneider started each of the four Devils games against the Rangers last season, with a .906 save percentage. Antti Raanta opposed Schneider for three of the four games, while Lundqvist played the other.
Lundqvist and Schneider both started Friday night.
Ondrej Pavelec is expected to make his first Rangers start on Saturday, while Keith Kinkaid will make his first start of the season for New Jersey.
The Rangers, who played three of their first five games at home, begin a seven-game homestand on Saturday, and play eight of their next nine in on home ice.
Updated October 13, 2017