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Five things to know about the Rangers

Five things to know about the Rangers

The Devils face the Rangers for the second time at Madison Square Garden this season on Saturday night (Faceoff: 7 p.m.; Television: MSG Plus, WEPN-98.7FM, MSG 2; Radio: WFAN-101.9FM/660AM, digital One Jersey Network).

But plenty has changed since the Devils’ 3-2 win on Oct. 14,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-martin-jones-jersey]Authentic Martin Jones jersey[/url], just their fifth game of the season.

Here are five things to know about the Rangers, who played at Washington on Friday night:

1. They’ve been better lately: The Rangers entered their game against the Capitals having won six of their previous seven games before dropping a 4-2 contest. Still, they have launched themselves back into contention in the Metropolitan Division. 

Devils: Stability,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-brent-burns-jersey]Authentic Brent Burns jersey[/url], comfort level allowing Taylor Hall's game to grow with team

Devils' Ben Lovejoy first active NHL player to pledge to donate brain for CTE research

Devils' Kyle Palmieri resumes skating on his own

When the Devils beat them, it dropped the Rangers to 1-5-0 and that would spiral to 3-7-2 by Oct. 28.

 $26.6 million deal,2. Shattenkirk has settled in: Offensive-minded defenseman and power-play quarterback Kevin Shattenkirk, N.Y. native signed with his hometown Rangers for a four-year,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-alex-pietrangelo-jersey]Authentic Alex Pietrangelo jersey[/url], an offseason free agency target of the Devils before the New Rochelle, has recovered from a slow start and had five goals and 15 assists in his first 20 games.

Plus, his former coach,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-vladimir-tarasenko-jersey]Authentic Vladimir Tarasenko jersey[/url], he may be playing with some extra motivation this weekend after the Capitals’ Barry Trotz, slung this arrow at him: “I think everybody thought of him as one-two [defenseman] and he really wasn’t. He was a little lower.”

3. The Rangers haven’t been taxed, the Rangers will be doing so for just the third time, schedule-wise: While Saturday night marks the conclusion of the Devils’ seventh set of back-to-back games this season,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-jake-allen-jersey]Authentic Jake Allen jersey[/url], and the first time since their first game against the Devils.

 the Rangers are finally starting to take full advantage of a favorable early home schedule. Saturday marks their 19th home game – almost half of the home games they’ll play this season – and while they are 11-5-2 at the Garden,Meanwhile, they’ve gotten there by winning nine of their last 10 on home ice.

4. Hank’s played a lot: Coach Alain Vigneault has used goalie Henrik Lundqvist like a workhorse with all the gaps in the schedule. Coming back from an illness that kept him out of Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime win at Pittsburgh, Lundqvist’s start at Washington was his 24th of the season.

 3.45 goals-against average,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-carter-hutton-jersey]Authentic Carter Hutton jersey[/url],Vigneault did not indicate prior to Friday’s game whether he planned to use Lundqvist on back to back nights or if he’d turn to seldom-used and sometimes shaky backup Ondrej Pavelec (2-4-0, .899 save percentage).

5. They’re getting by without Zibanejad: Mika Zibanejad has turned into the bona fide No. 1 center the Rangers hoped they were acquiring when they swapped Derick Brassard to the Senators for him prior to the 2016-17 season.

Zibanejad has 11 goals and 11 assists in 24 games but suffered a concussion against the Red Wings on Nov. 24.

 3.29 goals-against average,It’s the second meeting this season between the Metropolitan Division rivals after the Devils (16-8-4) won, at the Garden on Oct. 14 as Drew Stafford’s power play goal provided the winner and Keith Kinkaid (5-2-1, 3-2, .896 save percentage) made 29 saves in his first start of the season. Kinkaid also gets the call tonight after Cory Schneider surrendered five goals on 19 shots over the last two periods of the Devils’ 5-3 loss to the visiting Blue Jackets on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the Rangers (15-11-2) lost 4-2 at Washington on Friday night as the Capitals scored twice in the final 3:32 of regulation. The Rangers had come into the game having won six of their previous seven.

The Rangers are 11-5-2 at the Garden and have won nine of their last 10 on home ice.

While Devils coach John Hynes announced prior to Friday’s game that Kinkaid would start on Saturday, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault did not indicate following his team’s loss on Friday whether he would go right back to Henrik Lundqvist or start backup Ondrej Pavelec.

Here are three storylines to this game:

 because they are “gripping their sticks” a little too tightly and the Rangers because they are missing top-line center Mika Zibanejad,First period – Who will be better (worse) on special teams? Both teams are struggling on the power play, as Taylor Hall suggested after Friday’s loss, the Devils, who remains out with a concussion.

Second period – Who is fresher on the back to back? The Devils are certainly more used to playing twice in two days so far this season as Saturday marks the conclusion of their seventh set of back to backs. They are 4-2-0 in the second games, including their win over the Rangers.

The Rangers have not played back to backs since losing that first game to the Devils.

Does any of that matter in this game? You would think not. Still, though none of that was present in their last attempt, the Devils have displayed a dogged mentality for the most part on the second night of back to backs, a 5-0 loss at Arizona a week ago.

Third period – The reception for Brian Boyle: Typically, who left Broadway via free agency following the Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and has come back as a visiting player numerous times, Garden fans aren’t too kind to former Rangers who come back playing for a hated rival. And Boyle, including as part of the Lightning squad that beat the Rangers in Game 7 of the 2015 Eastern Conference final at the Garden.

But this is Boyle’s first time back as a Devil and the first time since he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia at the start of training camp. He was a fan favorite at the Garden as a Ranger. The guess here is that he gets a nice ovation at some point.

The St. Thomas More girls' basketball team picked up right where it left off the 2016-2017 season, with a big win.

The four-time defending Class A state champions, opened the season Saturday with an impressive 55-44 win over Class AA power Sioux Falls Washington in Sioux Falls.

St. Thomas More trailed by one (11-10) at the end of the first quarter, but never again after regaining the momentum in the second period. The Cavs led by five at halftime and nine heading into the fourth quarter.

Washington was able to cut into the STM lead a couple of times in the fourth quarter, but could never quite make a serious push at the end as senior Aislinn Duffy was clutch down the stretch from the field and from the free-throw line.

” Cavalier coach Brandon Kandolin said. “It was evident that it was the first game for both teams,“I think it was a good win to start the season, kind of sloppy at times. I thought that we played good enough to win. We need to make sure that we are prepared for the rest of this week.”  

 grabbing 11 rebounds,Duffy led all scorers with 18 points, followed by Jayden Bies with 12 and freshman Haleigh Timmer with 11.

 NEWCASTLE,CUSTER 64,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-martin-jones-jersey]adidas Martin Jones jersey[/url], Wyo. 34: The Wildcats opened the season with an impressive win over the Doggies.

 with 20 points,Tori Glazier had a big game for Custer, seven rebounds and four assists. Taylor Carlson added 17 points and Mckenzie Becker finished with 13 points and four assists for the Wildcats.

Lexus Voelker scored 14 to lead Newcastle.

 N.D.,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-brent-burns-jersey]adidas Brent Burns jersey[/url],Custer returns to action Wednesday against Standing Rock, in the first day of the Lakota Nation Invitational in Rapid City.

PIERRE 60, STURGIS 47: The Lady Govs picked up their first win of the season by stopping the Scoopers,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-alex-pietrangelo-jersey]adidas Alex Pietrangelo jersey[/url], who were in their opener.

Kylie Kessler led Pierre, 1-1, with 18 points, followed by Mack Rath with 16 and Emily Mikkelsen with 13.

Sturgis was paced by Brook Janz with 16 points and Loralee Stock with 10.

Sturgis is at Belle Fourche on Tuesday.

NEW UNDERWOOD 55,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-vladimir-tarasenko-jersey]adidas Vladimir Tarasenko jersey[/url], DUPREE 35: New Underwood used a 31-12 halftime lead to drop Dupree on the road Saturday.

Cerington Jones led the way for the Tigers with 24 points and six rebounds, while Jaedyn Finkbeiner added 21 points and 10 boards.

RAPID CITY STEVENS 56, SIOUX FALLS ROOSEVELT 35: Rapid City Stevens jumped out to a 16-4 lead at the end of the first quarter as it defeated Sioux Falls Roosevelt on Saturday.

Lexus Eagle Chasing paced the Raiders with 14 points, while Aly Hammon and Sydney Smith finished with 12 apiece.

Madisyn Waltman led the Rough Riders with 11 points and Hattie Giblin finished with 10.

Rapid City Stevens (2-0) will travel to Huron on Friday.

SIOUX FALLS O’GORMAN 53,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-jake-allen-jersey]adidas Jake Allen jersey[/url], SPEARFISH 31: The Lady Knights took a 26-9 lead into the half and didn’t look back as they downed the Spartans on Saturday.

O’Gorman had three players score in double figures, led by Emma Ronsiek, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Rylee Benson chipped in with 12 points and McKenzie Hermanson added 10.

Alexsis Kemp led the way for the Spartans with 16 points and six rebounds.

Spearfish (0-2) will play Sturgis Dec. 19 at home.

HARDING COUNTY 43, NEWELL 40: Harding County scored a narrow win over Newell on Friday night.

AnnieKate Burghduff and Shamra Garrett led the Ranchers with 14 points apiece,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-carter-hutton-jersey]adidas Carter Hutton jersey[/url], and Burghduff finished with 10 rebounds.

TODD COUNTY 76, BENNETT COUNTY 54: Aiden Bizardie scored 41 points to lead the Falcons past the Warriors Saturday.

Bizardie hit nine 3-pointers as the Falcons overcame an 18-13 first-quarter deficit.

Tyre Primeaux scored 14 for Todd County and Mark Rogers added 10.

Todd County, while Bennett County, 2-0, is at the Lakota Nation Invitational this week in Rapid City, is at Gordon-Rushville, 0-2, Neb., on Friday.

RAPID CITY STEVENS 68, SIOUX FALLS ROOSEVELT 62: Despite falling behind early, Rapid City Stevens bounced back and defeated Sioux Falls Washington on Saturday.

Dawson Paulsen led the Raiders with 22 points and Cooper Bowman chipped in with 20 points. Paulsen and Bowman paced the team in rebounds with five apiece.

Jackson Reiff led the Rough Riders with 17 points, James Lauer added 16 points and Peyton Riggs and Adam Kusler finished with 11 apiece.

Rapid City Stevens (1-1) hosts Huron and Mitchell starting on Friday.

RAPID CITY CHRISTIAN 54, PHILIP 43: Rapid City Christian took a 45-31 lead into the fourth quarter and held off Philip to open the season with a win.

David Schmagel led the Comets with 13 points, while Levi Vanden Bos and Zane Schlabach chipped in with 11 points apiece.

Ethan Wipf led the team with 11 rebounds and Schlabach added 10 boards.

Scott Rafter had a big game for the Scotties, as he scored 22 points, while grabbing 24 rebounds.

Rapid City Christian travels to Lyman on Friday, while Philip is at Wall on Tuesday.

RAPID CITY CENTRAL 70, THUNDER BASIN, Wyo., 37: The Cobblers closed out the weekend with a win over Thunder Basin on Saturday.

Dylan Hay had a big game for Central, as he scored 28 points to lead the way.

The Cobblers (3-0) will host Mitchell on Friday.