Battle of the Hudson
MONDAY NIGHT FINAL
N.J. Devils 2
N.Y. Rangers 4
Rangers and Devils end season series tied 3-3
NEW YORK RANGERS: Clinch Playoffs With Win.
Salute the colors of the night; Ranger Blue; Devils' Black; and Bloody Face Red - Ryan Carter's, that is. In truth, all players skated off the ice Monday night sporting bruises in all three hues of pain.
Before the scheduled hockey game was to be played, there were some season long, and not so old grudges stemming from Game Five to settle. Coach Peter DeBoer sent out a starting line of his lesser skilled, more physically spirited attitude adjusters and mood managers on the ice. It's interesting he did that. In Game Five of Battle of the Hudson, New Jersey resoundingly pummelled the Rangers. Was his thinking, keep a good yet struggling team down by beating them down? If you ask Ryan Carter, he might say his Coach's plan backfired. He might. I'm just saying.
As the home team, Coach Torts recognized DeBoer's move, and say what you will, gladly accepted the challenge by sending out his own line of Reckless Rangers. Needless to say, it only took three seconds after the initial drop of the puck till the ice was littered with gloves and elbow pads.
In New York's corner - Brandon Prust; Mike Rupp; and Stu Bickel. In New Jersey's corner - Eric Boulton; Cam Janssens; and Ryan Carter. Of the six purpose players, Ryan Carter suffered the most damage. During his game opening fight with Bickel, he opened up a head wound after falling in a vulnerable face/head first manner. His dripping blood stained the ice.
For the Devils, it was an omen. That melee was quite literally the beginning of the end to their night. Less than two minutes into the game, Brandon Dubinsky put the Rangers ahead.
Thirty-three seconds into the second period, Dan Girardi put the Rangers up by two. Then the Devils struck. Patrick Elias made it a 2-1 game. Mats Zuccarello had an answer for that however, when he scored at 7:33 of the period making it a 3-1 Rangers' lead. But half way through the period, Petr Sykora made it a one goal game again.
The game stayed that way for the first 18:50 of the third period until Derek Stepan deflected a puck by Martin Brodeur to seal a Rangers 4-2 victory.
The Rangers and the Devils end this regular season's Battle of the Hudson tied with three wins apiece. The victory now gives the Rangers ninety-seven points. In the tight Atlantic Division race and in the Eastern Conference standings, that's three points better than Pittsburgh and five better than Philadelphia. Overall, ninety-seven points is the second best mark in the NHL behind St. Louis, who have already hit 100 points.
The biggest reward of tonight's rebuking of the Devils? The Bueshirts have officially clinched a spot in the 2011-2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That's another small step for Rangers Kind.
Wednesday, March 23, 2012
Detroit Red Wings
NEW YORK RANGERS
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
33rd Street at 7th Avenue
33rd Street at 7th Avenue