NY Rangers vs NJ Devils: Most Memorable Moments from the Rivalry
Now that the Nets have switched rivers, the lone remaining Hudson River Rivalry stands between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.
How greedy of us fans to expect a rivalry game to be played at least once a year, but at least even more lawyers are getting involved.
While the rivalry is on hold (while the lawyers play!), there are still many memorable moments from past meetings between the Rangers and Devils.
The following moments may be skewed ever so slightly in favor of the good guys, I mean the Rangers:
May 25, 1994
May 25th, 1994 is the date of game six of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Devils had a 3-2 series lead and the game was to be played at the Meadowlands.
Unlike today, where reporters start nearly every question with, "will you guarantee...," Messier was not prompted in such a fashion before he declared that the Rangers were "going to go in and win game 6."
Messier kept his promise and the Rangers won 4-2, after initially trailing 2-0. Messier scored a hat-trick and added an assist, demonstrating to America what leading by example really means.
The game six victory evened the series and led to a decisive game seven at Madison Square Garden.
May 27, 1994
The video tells the story.
It was a game seven to decide who goes on to play for the Cup. It was overtime and Stephane Matteau made the decisive play to win the puck and score the goal that helped the Rangers beat their rivals en route to a Stanley Cup conquest against Vancouver.
April 13, 2008
It was game three of the first round of the 2008 playoffs and the Rangers had a 5-on-3 advantage.
Sean Avery was on the ice and spent the power play facing Martin Brodeur, waving a hand in front of his face and trying to distract his vision and concentration.
Everybody hated Avery's actions and the NHL issued an amendment to the rule book the very next day, making future goalie face-guarding a minor penalty.
Sean Avery did a lot of things during his NHL career; forcing the league to invent a rule during the playoffs is probably one of his more remarkable feats.
March 19, 2012
March 19th was the final regular season game between the Rangers and Devils.
The puck dropped and so did 12 gloves as three fights broke out immediately (I'll wait while you check my math).
Both coaches made their intent clear by putting out fighters for the opening face-off, but that didn't stop the war of words after the game, and a lot of debating about whether fighting belongs in hockey.
After the ice was cleaned, the Rangers eventually won the game 4-2, but the two sides would meet again in the Eastern Conference Finals two months later.
2012 Eastern Conference Finals
While the Rangers would like to forget the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, they can take some solace in the fact that the Devils did not win the Stanley Cup after eliminating the Rangers.
The Rangers entered the Eastern Conference Finals after consecutive seven game series' and were visibly fatigued.
Still, credit must go to the Devils for winning fairly and doing so after losing two out of the first three games of the series.
It was a highly entertaining series that contained only one fight over six games and the two fighters were arguably the two best players on the ice, Adam Henrique and Ryan McDonagh.
The 2012 Eastern Conference Finals was great for the Hudson River Rivalry. Not only did it revive a classic playoff matchup, but it was great hockey and the players showed the fans that the rivalry means a lot to them, too.
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