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New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils: Devils Look To Keep Rolling Against Rival Rangers

It's been quite the role reversal during the Hudson River Rivalry this season.

The New Jersey Devils (23-30-4), almost a playoff lock, sit 12 points away from a postseason berth. The New York Rangers (31-24-4), usually a late bloomer, sit seventh in the conference.

But a rivalry is a rivalry, no matter the standings.

These two rivals meet for the fourth time this season tonight at the Prudential Center.

While Friday's game renews the rivalry, Devils goalie Johan Hedberg acknowledged the game impacts the Devils' push toward the playoffs.

"I don't think it needs to be said much when it's the Rangers and the Devils," Hedberg told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "Through my short time here, I don't know how many times I heard from people around that it doesn't matter what we do as long as we beat the Rangers. I think it's always a special game. The fans are going to be into it. Both teams are going to be excited. And, yes, we want to catch them. That's another thing, too."

Both teams are heading in different directions. New Jersey comes into the matchup streaking, with a 13-1-2 record in their last 16 games. They remain undefeated in regulation since the All-Star break.

The Rangers are going the opposite way. In their last eight games, New York is only 2-5-1.

The Devils defeated the Rangers, 3-2, on February 3 at Madison Square Garden. New Jersey chased Henrik Lundqvist from the game during the second period, but it didn't deter New York. The Rangers made it interesting in the third period, but the Devils squeaked by for the win.

Anton Volchenkov will return to the lineup for tonight's game. The Devils' defenseman was suspended three games for an elbow on Carolina's Zach Boychuk during a February 8 game.