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Series at a glance: New York-New Jersey Eastern Conference finals preview

May 13, 2012, 1:05 PM EDT

Schedule

All times Eastern; *if necessary

Game 1: Monday, May 14, at New York (8 p.m., NBCSN)
Game 2: Wednesday, May 16, at New York (8 p.m., NBCSN)
Game 3: Saturday, May 19, at New Jersey (1 p.m., NBC)
Game 4: Monday, May 21, at New Jersey (8 p.m., NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, May 23, at New York (8 p.m., NBCSN)
*Game 6: Friday, May 25, at New Jersey (8 p.m., NBCSN)
*Game 7: Sunday, May 27, at New York (8 p.m., NBCSN)

Three storylines to follow

1. The rivalry. 

By “rivalry” we mean this, mostly:

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As for individual beefs…

– John Tortorella vs. Peter DeBoer is a good one. Following the March line brawl, DeBoer called Torts a hypocrite. Torts responded by telling DeBoer to shut up.

Brandon Dubinsky‘s got issues with both David Clarkson and Ryan Carter. Just one catch: Dubi missed the entire second round series against Washington with a lower body injury.

Mike Rupp and Cam Janssen have fought twice this year. So too have Brandon Prust and Eric Boulton. Sadly, it doesn’t look like either will get to the trilogy stage as Janssen and Boulton haven’t played at all this postseason.

Martin Brodeur‘s hatred of the Rangers dates all the way back to the 1992 playoffs vs. New York:

“I was part of the whole seven games,” Brodeur said. “I was on the bench. I was in the locker room. I got to hate the Rangers early on, got the taste of it. And all (this) year with what happened and all the new faces, we’ve got a little bit of that feeling.”

– And finally…if you’re talking the Devils-Rangers playoff rivalry, you have to mention this:

2. R&R.

The Devils haven’t played since Tuesday — they’ll have six full days off before beginning the series. That’s a far cry from the Rangers, who will have less than 48 hours to recover from their grueling seven game series against Washington (that, including all the overtime, was more like an eight-gamer.)

Also worth noting: New York has played 14 games in its first two series. Since the NHL playoffs expanded beyond two rounds in 1968, no team has won the Stanley Cup after playing the maximum 14 games in the opening rounds.

3. The goalies.

As two of the longest-tenured starters in the East, Brodeur and Henrik Lundqvist have developed a friendly rivalry with one another. (The fact they play across the Hudson River from each other doesn’t hurt, either.) Individually, both have plenty at stake.

For Lundqvist, this is the crowning achievement of his career — while he’s enjoyed plenty of regular season success, he’s never played in a conference final.

For Brodeur, it could be his last kick at the can — he just turned 40 last week and his six-year, $31.2 million contract expires on July 1.

Records (reg. season)

No. 1 New York: 51-24-7, 109 points (1st in Atlantic) | No. 6 New Jersey: 48-28-6, 102 points (4th in Atlantic).

Leading playoff scorers

New York: Brad Richards (6G-5A-11PTS) | New Jersey: Ilya Kovalchuk (5G-7A-12PTS)

Starting goalies

New York: Henrik Lundqvist (7-6, 1.73 GAA) | Washington: Martin Brodeur (8-3, 2.05 GAA)

Head-to-head

Season series tied 3-3

Dec. 20: New York 4, at New Jersey 1
Jan. 31: at New Jersey 4, New York 3, SO
Feb. 7: New Jersey 1, at New York 0
Feb. 27: at New York 2, New Jersey 0
Mar. 6: at New Jersey 4, New York 1
Mar. 19: at New York 4, New Jersey 2

Playoff history

New York leads 4-1

1992: New York 4-3 (Patrick Division semis)
1994: New York 4-3 (Eastern Conference finals)
1997: New York 4-1 (Eastern Conference semis)
2006: New Jersey 4-0 (Eastern Conference quarters)
2008: New York 4-1 (Eastern Conference quarters)

2012 playoffs

New York: Def. Ottawa 4-3 (EC quarters), Def. Washington 4-3 (EC semis) | New Jersey: Def. Florida 4-3 (EC quarters), Def. Philadelphia 4-1 (EC semis)

2011 playoffs

New York: Lost to Washington 4-1 (EC quarters) | New Jersey: Did not qualify.

Stanley Cups

New York: Four (1928, 1933, 1940, 1994) | New Jersey: Three (1995, 2000, 2003)

Injuries

New York: Brandon Dubinsky (foot), Steve Eminger (ankle), Mats Zuccarello (wrist), Michael Sauer (concussion) | New Jersey: Jacob Josefson (wrist), Henrik Tallinder (leg)

Poll

  1. DTF31 - May 13, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    The key to this series will be which team handles the excruciating travel better.

  2. eigglesnosuperbowls - May 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Series at a glance,,,,,, don’t glance away it will be over before you know it ! Rangers in 4 !

    • rfoster75 - May 13, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      rangers aint beating anyone in 4. they got hella lucky to win this last series.

      • stakex - May 13, 2012 at 9:04 PM

        They had one lucky break, and that was Wards idiotic penelty in game five. Other then that the Rangers earned a win in that series.

        The Devils on the other hand got lucky drawing a team with absolutely no defense, and a piece of Swiss cheese between the pipes last round.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 14, 2012 at 6:23 PM

        Rangers- KINGS finals get use to it, now GIT !

  3. caps247 - May 13, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Flyers-Penguins 2.0. E

    Even though I’m a Caps fan, I want the Rangers to win. I have some sort of mental block against the Devils after what they’ve done to us during the regular season.

    Should be amazing to watch though, Rangers in 7.

  4. theagitator1691 - May 13, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Makes alot of sense that Richards scored his 6th goal of the playoffs in game 7 yet you have him with 5g and 5a 10 points leading Rangers in points get your facts straight!!

  5. stakex - May 13, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    The only thing that really concerns me is how the short turn around will effect the Rangers after having played 14 playoff games already. On the other hand, the Devils have played 12 games themselves, and sometimes a 5-6 game layoff can actually hurt a team so we’ll have to see.

    I would say that the Rangers SHOULD be a bit slower then the Devils in the first game. If there not, and the Rangers out play the Devils and win game one… the Devils are screwed.

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