The heat is always on when these two rivals go at each other. The higher-ranked New Jersey Devils (first in the Atlantic Division last year) will be out to even the score after the New York Rangers (fourth in the division) surprised them 3-2 in their October 5 game—which was notable for both the Devils’ penalty problems and the four Rangers fans attacking a Devils fan in the stands (the first time there was more fighting at a Rangers–Devils game in the stands than on the ice). The Devils lost John Madden to free agency over the summer but then signed veteran center Rob Niedermayer, so there are hopes they will build on last year’s 51-27 (with 4 OTL) edition. Off to a good start, the Rangers, 43-30 with 9 OTL last season, are looking to win more with the return of the energetic Sean Avery (a/k/a the Fashionable One).
Thu., Oct. 22, 7 p.m., 2009