At a glance: Even amidst a troubling early-season swoon, the Rangers are not the worst team of the three New York-area locals. Despite the Blueshirts' recent struggles, it’s the New Jersey Devils that find themselves in dire straits entering Saturday’s match against their Hudson River rivals. Winless through their first seven games of the season, the Devils are desperate to get back on track. Meanwhile, the Rangers will look to build off Wednesday’s morale-building win against the Capitals.
Injury woes: The Rangers suffered a blow with the news that captain Ryan Callahan is out for up to a month with a broken thumb. The team only recently got him back from a shoulder injury, but the gritty forward made an immediate impact. Callahan had three goals in the first five games of the season, including one in Wednesday’s 2-0 win against the Caps. The team is already without Rick Nash (concussion) and Carl Hagelin (shoulder), which means that three of their top six forwards are missing from the lineup.
Schneider in net: The Devils will start Cory Schneider in net against the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist. That means Brodeur will be backing up against the Blueshirts -- a rarity for the future Hall of Famer. According to The Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti, this is the first time Brodeur is not starting a home game against the Rangers (when he wasn’t injured or just returning from injury) since Nov. 30, 1993.
Help on the way: In the wake of Callahan’s injury, the Rangers have recalled veteran penalty-killing forward Darroll Powe. Goaltender Jason Missiaen was also called up, presumably to allow Cam Talbot to play some games in the AHL this weekend. Missiaen will back up Lundqvist.
Lineup changes: According to The Record, defenseman Adam Larsson will sit out Saturday’s game with Mark Fayne drawing into the lineup. Center Jacob Josefson is also expected to replace Andrei Loktionov in the lineup. Meanwhile, ex-Ranger Ryane Clowe will not have the chance to face his former club just yet. Clowe remains on injured reserve with a head injury. That’s worrisome for the Devils, who inked him to a five-year, $24.25 million deal in July. Clowe sustained two concussions last season during his short time with the Rangers.