Breaking Down New Jersey Devils-New York Rangers Matchup Position By Position

New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer (91): Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer (91): Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

Second Forward Line

Ondrej Palat – Jack Hughes – Jesper Bratt

vs. 

Chris Kreider – Vincent Trochek – Patrick Kane

The Devils second forward line is still full of scoring power. Jesper Bratt and Jack Hughes has as much skill as any young forward twosome. Hughes was in the MVP race at one point this season. He’s slowed down significantly, but he’s still one of the most dynamic players in the league. Adding Bratt to his line should help, although they’ve struggled as linemates in the past. Now with Palat, something feels off. They basically have similar possession as their opponents when on the ice. They’ve scored just one more goal than their opponents in 58 minutes despite a 17% shooting percentage, which is well above average.

Meanwhile, Chris Kreider isn’t having the same scoring season as he had last year, but he still has 32 goals this season. He’s playing with an injury-riddled Patrick Kane and recent signing Vincent Trochek, which seems like a very large drop off to Hughes and Bratt. However, they’ve contributed.

If this was a “right now” list, it feels like the slightest of advantage for the Rangers. This is only because of Jack Hughes’s slump (relatively). However, there’s nobody on the Rangers who can play like Hughes. He’s a top-10 player in the NHL. Jesper Bratt is a top-50 player. There’s nothing the Rangers have outside the top line that can compare.

Advantage: Devils