No. 1 N.Y. Rangers (51-24-7-109 pts) vs. No. 6 N.J. Devils (48-28-6-102 pts)Five storylines
Hudson River rivalry got quite a kickstart in 1994, when the Rangers
beat the Devils in double overtime with a Stephane Matteau goal and then
went on to win the Stanley Cup. The next season the Devils captured
their first Stanley Cup and two more since. This will be the sixth
playoff meeting between the rivals with the Rangers having won four of
the previous five.2.
Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist
has been considered one of the best in the game these days, but there is
no denying Devils 40-year-old goalie Martin Brodeur's place in history.
On the back nine of his career, Brodeur will be motivated for a strong
finish over the 30-year-old Swede.3.
The last regular
season meeting between the Rangers and Devils resulted in a line brawl
to start the game and a war of words between Rangers coach John
Tortorella and Devils bench boss Peter DeBoer. These two teams don't
like each other and neither do their coaches.4.
Lamoriello, 69, celebrated his 25th year as the Devils general manager
last month. Glen Sather, 68 has been in charge of the Rangers since
2000, but prior to that won four Stanley Cups at the helm of the Oilers.
Lamoriello would love to tie Sather with his fourth NHL championship,
but Sather wants to win his first on Broadway.5.
Rupp scored the last Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Devils nine
years ago, and now he finds himself on the other side with the Rangers.
There have been several players who have performed for both the Rangers
and Devils, but not one who has won Stanley Cups on both side of the
Hudson River.Season series:
Dec. 20 - Rangers 4-1 at New Jersey
Jan. 31 - Devils 4-3 (SO) at New Jersey
Feb. 07 - Devils 1-0 at New York
Feb. 27 - Rangers 2-0 at New York
March 06 - Devils 4-1 at New Jersey
March 19 - Rangers 4-2 at New YorkPrediction:
Devils in seven.
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