The New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils are ready to rumble in the Eastern Conference Finals, starting on Monday night at 8:00 p.m. New York is entering the finals with a 51-24-7 overall record, and a 27-12-2 mark at Madison Square Garden.
This is the sixth time overall that the Blueshirts and Devils are meeting in the playoffs, with these two rivals clashing for the third time in seven years. The last meeting was in the 2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, which was won by the Rangers, 4-1. Overall the Blueshirts have a 4-1 playoff series record versus New Jersey, posting a 16-12 mark in 28 postseason contest.
Madison Square Garden has been rocking as of late, and for good reason, with the Rangers winning their last seven playoff series. One of the more memorable wins for fans of the Blueshirts was the 4-3 decision in the 1994 Conference finals.
It is going to be a battle of the keepers as Henrik Lundqvist takes on Martin Brodeur. Thus far Hank has had the edge over the future Hall of Famer in 34 career regular season games, posting a 23-6-5 record with a 1.73 GAA, .935 save percentage and five shutouts.
One of the stars that has impressed in the playoffs for the Blueshirts has been Brad Richards, who has provided clutch moments and great on-ice vision thus far. In 38 games played the center has 33 points against New Jersey.
Captain Ryan Callahan has 16 points thus far in 25 games played against the Devils, while leading the NHL in hits in the playoffs (63) and is second in blocked shots (23).
Blocked shots have been one of the main reasons why the Blueshirts have been successful in the playoffs, as the guys are ranked second in the league with 267. Pacing the team has been Dan Girardi (47) and Ryan McDonagh (39) who ranked first and second in the NHL.
The physical play has also been a huge part of the Rangers game, as New York leads the league in hits with 486.
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