After years of struggles against Patrick Division foes in the old division-based playoff format, the Rangers, ironically in the first year of the new conference-based playoff format, would need to beat three long-time division rivals to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
But the Blueshirts did just that, in arguably the greatest non-Cup Finals playoff series in NHL history which saw three games decided in double-OT, including Game 7 at The Garden.
And, of course, two of the most iconic tilts in Rangers history were part of the amazing series.
With the Rangers down 3-2 in the series, Mark Messier made the bold prediction that the Rangers would win Game 6. And after the Captain talked the talk, he walked the walk, scoring a natural hat trick to force Game 7 at The Garden.
In the deciding game, the Devils scored with just seven seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime. Then it took a little over 24 minutes of action before Stephane Matteau jumped on the ice and cemented himself into Rangers’ lore forever by sending the Blueshirts to the Stanley Cup Finals.