A blog focusing on the New York Rangers and all things hockey (also Yankees and Giants) with a New York attitude from a fan of 40 years whose greatest highlight came when Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup on June 14, 1994
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The Devils' 3-1 series-clinching victory over the Flyers on Tuesday makes it even more important for the Rangers to close out the Capitals on Wednesday.
If the Rangers fail to do so, they will be forced to a seventh game for the second time in as many series, and you would have to wonder what kind of toll that would take even if they did survive one more time.
It also would give the Devils a huge advantage in terms of rest. If a seventh game was played on Saturday, the Eastern Conference finals wouldn't begin until Monday or Tuesday, meaning New Jersey would have had almost a week off.
If the Rangers can put away the Capitals on Wednesday, the conference finals probably will begin on Saturday or Sunday.
In any event, the Rangers know they need a better first period than in game four when they were outshot 14-3 in the
opening 20 minutes.
Regarding the Devils, they are starting to look scary. You wonder if Martin Brodeur is on one of those magic carpet rides at the twilight of his career (he turned 40 during the Flyers' series.
Remember when Brodeur let in three goals and was pulled in game two of the first round series against Florida? It seems like that never happened.
Three of the four finalists have been determined as Phoenix an Los Angeles will meet in the West for a chance to play for the Cup.
The Coyotes had never made in past the second round while the Kings only finalists appearance came in 1993, when they were led by Wayne Gretzky and coached by Barry Melrose.
The other three conference semifinal series all ended in five games.
A footnote from Tuesday: Brad Richards' goal with 6.8 seconds remaining was the latest the Rangers have ever tied a playoff game in franchise history.