The New York Rangers will try to clinch the Presidents' Trophy and match a franchise record for wins when they visit the New Jersey Devils for Tuesday's battle at the Prudential Center.
The Rangers lead the NHL with 109 points and can secure the league's best record with a win in tonight's game. The Metropolitan Division champions also would clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference if they get just one point in this matchup with the Devils.
New York, which has three games remaining in the regular season, is two points ahead of Anaheim for the most in the NHL and is three in front of Montreal for the East lead. The Canadiens and Ducks each have two games left in the regular season and neither team can catch the Rangers in regulation/overtime wins (ROW).
With 51 wins, the Blueshirts are just one away from matching the franchise mark for victories. They also are three points shy of tying the club record. Both marks were set in New York's last Stanley Cup-winning season of 1993-94, which also was the last time the Rangers won a Presidents' Trophy.
In light of its most recent meeting against the Devils, New York should have a good chance of picking up a win on Tuesday.
New Jersey hopes to avoid getting swept by the Rangers in the season series and also avenge Saturday's blowout loss at Madison Square Garden. New York slammed the Devils by a 6-1 count to go 3-0 in the four-game season series between the Metro Division rivals. Jersey has lost five straight to the Blueshirts.
The Rangers followed the lopsided win over the Devils with Monday's 4-3 overtime victory against visiting Columbus. Derek Stepan scored two big goals for New York, tying the contest with 27.5 seconds left in regulation before winning it with 49.6 seconds remaining in OT.
The comeback victory cooled off the NHL's hottest team, ending the Blue Jackets' franchise-record win streak at nine games.
"I think in order to have success in the playoffs you have to be able to handle ebbs and flows in games and you have to be able to respond when your game's not quite there," said Stepan. "We've been able to find ways to win hockey games when we haven't been as sharp as we'd like to be."
The Rangers improved to 25-10-5 at home this season and they also boast a 26-11-2 mark as the guest. It marks the first time in franchise history New York has earned at least 25 wins both at home and on the road.
Cam Talbot will get the call in net for the Rangers tonight.
The Devils haven't played since getting pounded Saturday in the Big Apple. They are hoping for a better effort this evening in the season finale at Prudential Center.
The Rangers grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first period and eventually extended their cushion to 6-0 before Jacob Josefson ended Lundqvist's shutout bid with 3:30 remaining in the game. The loss marked New Jersey's largest margin of defeat against the Rangers since another 6-1 setback on Oct. 30, 1996.
New Jersey netminder Cory Schneider was pulled in the first period after surrendering three goals on just six shots. Keith Kinkaid relieved Schneider less than 13 minutes into the game and turned aside 23-of-26 chances in the Devils' seventh loss in eight tries.
"I just think we gave them whatever opportunities we gave them and they took advantage of it and that's the way the whole night went," said Devils interim coach and general manager Lou Lamoriello.
Schneider is expected to get a shot at redemption versus the Rangers tonight. He is 1-3-1 with a 2.41 goals against average in his career versus New York.
The Devils will close their season with two road games. They'll visit Tampa Bay on Thursday before ending 2014-15 on Saturday against the Florida Panthers.