New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils on collision course for playoff matchup

The New York Rangers are likely to finish in either second or third place this season, which means they’ll face off against the team that holds the other spot in the first round of the playoffs.

At this point, there’s an 80% chance per Playoff Status that it will be the New Jersey Devils.

Coming into action this week, the Blueshirts (43-20-10) are four points behind the Devils (46-19-8) for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Whoever claims that spot will get home-ice advantage in the opening round.

How to Watch the New York Rangers in 2023

New York Rangers and Devils playoffs history

Igor Shesterkin New York Rangers
Jan 7, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers have faced the Devils in the Stanley Cup Playoffs a grand total of six times in their history and have won four of them.

In 1992, New York edged New Jersey in a hard fought 7-game first round series that featured a bench clearing brawl the first time these franchises ever met.

That was followed by the thrilling 7-game series in the 1994 Eastern Conference Final where Mark Messier made his legendary Game 6 Guarantee with Stephane Matteau scoring in double OT of Game 7 to send the Rangers to the Finals against the Vancouver Canucks. It was a huge step in ending the Blueshirts’ 54 year Stanley Cup drought.

New York’s post season success would continue in 1997 as Adam Graves’ OT winner in Game 5 of round two knocked off the favored Devils, who won the division.

The Devils would finally win their first series against the Rangers in an opening round sweep during the 2006 playoffs.

Just two seasons later, the 2008 Rangers led by Jaromir Jagr knocked off the favored Devils in five games.

New Jersey got some revenge for 1994 when they beat a very good Rangers team in a 6-Game Eastern Conference Final in 2012. The Black and Blueshirts with Henrik Lundqvist in net looked like a team that could win the Stanley Cup. However, the grinding coaching style of John Tortorella and the physical toll it took on the players likely played a role in crushing the Rangers’ hopes. They simply looked gassed by the time they took on Jersey, who lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the Finals.

Overall the Rangers playoff record against the Devils is 18-16, winning four of the six series.

This regular-season, the Rangers have had a lot of trouble against the Devils’ speed with a record of 1-1-1 due to 10 Goals For and 12 Goals Against.

The Rangers and Devils will square off the last time in the regular season on Thursday in New Jersey. It will undoubtedly be a preview of what’s to come in the first-round of the 2023 Playoffs.