Rangers, Devils, and Islanders all make it to the dance
For the first time since 2007, all three tri-state area teams will be in the NHL playoffs.
The New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, and New York Islanders have punched their tickets to the dance marking just the fourth time it’s happened.
“I don’t really care about the other two, but as long as we’re there,” said a laughing Gerard Gallant when asked about the possibility in March.
Rangers, Devils, and Islanders in playoffs
Here’s a breakdown of what happened the previous three times all the local teams made it.
The Rangers finished first in the Patrick Division with 85 points and the Devils placed second at 83. The Islanders just made the cut with 73 points.
In the playoffs, the Blueshirts defeated the Isles in five games, while the Devils were beaten in six by the Washington Capitals. The Rangers lost to the Caps in five games during round two.
Diehard fans of the New York Rangers know very well what happened in 1994.
The Rangers were the best team in the NHL winning the Presidents’ Trophy with 112 points. Again, the Devils finished in second with 106 points and the Islanders squeaked in with 84.
In the opening round, the Rangers swept the Isles and then beat the Caps in five games. New Jersey edged the Buffalo Sabres in seven and ousted the Boston Bruins in six to set up a showdown in the Eastern Conference Final.
The Rangers on a Mark Messier guarantee stormed back in Game 6 to even the series on the strength of a four point game from the captain (3 goals, 1 assist). That set up Stephane Matteau’s double OT winner that sent the Blueshirts to the Stanley Cup Final where they beat the Vancouver Canucks in seven to end a 54 year-drought.
The Devils were one of the league’s better team by this time with their defensive style and Martin Brodeur in net. They finished in first with 107 points, while the Rangers were third (94) and Isles fourth (92).
In the playoffs, the Isles were the first to go losing in five to the Sabres. Meanwhile, the Rangers swept the Atlanta Thrashers and the Devils took down the Tampa Bay Lightning in six.
Both the Rangers and Devils would fall in round two with the Ottawa Senators knocking off Jersey in five and the Sabres taking down the Blueshirts in six.
For fans who don’t remember, the Rangers were up 1-0 with 8 second left in Game 5 and a chance to go up 3-2 in the series. Current President and GM Chris Drury scored to tie and Buffalo won it in OT. They took the next game to close it out at Madison Square Garden.