The Rangers’ 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday served them the sharp reminder that while they sit cozy atop the NHL, there are some teams still starving for points in the waning days of the regular season.

New Jersey comes to the Garden on Wednesday as one of them, but it will be playing the second leg of a back-to-back — a spot in which it is 3-10.

You can talk about the Devils’ scoring potential and how they have averaged a top-10 3.28 goals per game, but the truth of the matter is that they have been a hot mess from Day 1.

Firing their coach and trading for new goalies hasn’t proved effective; they sport a 6-7 record since Lindy Ruff’s dismissal.

In the first three meetings this season, Jersey was outscored 13-5 by the Rangers despite outshooting them 93-79 and outplaying them handily in five-on-five Corsi percentage.

Aside from pitiful goaltending that has sunk the team to 29th in save percentage, the Devils’ once quick-transition style has been stunted by defenseman who can’t make successful outlet passes and lose puck battles down low.

Jake Allen has been an improvement in goal, but the Rangers are playing responsibly driven hockey and cashing on scoring opportunities.


Betting on the NHL?


The Rangers’ top-ranked special teams and goaltending on home ice leaves Jersey’s margin for error too thin, which primes them to steer back into the win column and cover the puck line for the fourth and final time against the Devils.

The play: Rangers -1.5 goals (FanDuel Sportsbook).

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