G16 New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers: Jack is back
The potential Hart Trophy candidate is expected to return after being sidelined for two weeks.
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A few notes to get you set for New Jersey vs. New York:
Jack is back
Official word won’t come until close to game-time but the expectation is Jack Hughes will return to the lineup this evening. That would certainly be a welcomed sight as the Devils desperately need his offense.
Only four teams scored fewer goals at 5v5 than the Devils while Hughes was out with a shoulder injury. The power play was still productive – the Devils scored five times in six games – but it certainly didn’t look as dynamic.
Getting Hughes back is a necessary plus against the Rangers. No team has allowed fewer shots on goal per 60 at 5v5 this season. Even without Adam Fox, they are extremely stout defensively and a very difficult team to generate offense against.
Factor in they also have Igor Shesterkin – who has shaved off nearly a half a goal off expectation per start – as the last line of defense and it’s no coincidence the Rangers have done a better job of keeping the puck out than all but the Bruins.
Jack has found the scoresheet in five straight regular season games against the Rangers and scored six times in that span.
He always seems to rise to the occasion in rivalry games – and he lives for the big moment – so I’d expect him to hit the ground running in this one. The Devils need him to do just that if they’re going to take out the Metro Division leaders.