OCT. 8, 1982. The first game played between the cross-river rivals took place at Brendan Byrne Arena, and was won by the Devils, 3-2. It was the first win in franchise history. The Rangers and Devils met seven times in 1982-83, and they tied their last meeting of the season after splitting the first six. It was the beginning of an intense, evenly matched rivalry.
MAY 1, 1992. The Devils and Rangers met in the playoffs for the first time in the ’91-92 Patrick Division Semifinals. After the Devils defeated New York, 5-3, in Jersey to force a Game 7, the Rangers took care of business at Madison Square Garden with a decisive 8-4 victory. Mark Messier, Adam Graves and Darren Turcotte scored two goals apiece for the Rangers.
MAY 27, 1994. Despite going 0-6 against the Rangers during the regular season, the Devils found themselves leading the ’93-94 Conference Finals 3-2 against their Hudson River foes. Prior to Game 6 in New Jersey, Rangers captain Mark Messier guaranteed victory — and delivered. Messier’s hat trick lifted New York to a 4-2 victory, but they still needed one more win. In a double-OT thriller at the Garden, Stephane Matteau scored from behind the net on Calder-winning goaltender Martin Brodeur to give the Rangers a 2-1 victory. They would go on to win their first Stanley Cup in 54 years, defeating Vancouver in seven games.
MAY 11, 1997. The Rangers clinched their third consecutive playoff series against the Devils with a 2-1 OT victory in Game 5 at the Meadowlands. Adam Graves scored the winning goal on a wraparound after beating defenseman Scott Stevens. Rangers goalie Mike Richter stopped 46 shots to earn the win.
APR. 29, 2006. Despite a lack of playoff success against the Rangers, the two teams went in starkly different directions following the Rangers’ Cup victory in 1994. From 1995-2003, New Jersey compiled a 25-5-14 regular season record against New York and won three Stanley Cups in between. The Devils won 11 straight games to close the ’05-06 season and won the Atlantic Division by one point, overtaking the Rangers on the last day. The Devils proceeded to sweep the Rangers in the Conference Quarterfinals, outscoring them 17-4. After a 4-2 win in MSG, the Devils had finally ousted their rivals in the postseason.
APR. 13, 2008. In the fourth playoff meeting between the two teams, the Rangers took a 2-0 series advantage into Madison Square Garden. During a 5-on-3 power play in the second period, Ranger Sean Avery turned completely away from the play and did everything he could to distract Martin Brodeur. Worse for Marty, Avery scored moments later to give New York a 2-1 lead. The Devils would eventually win the game in OT thanks to a goal by John Madden, but that didn’t stop the debate on Avery’s tactics. The NHL instituted a rule the very next day outlawing such practices. The Rangers won the next two games to take the series, and Brodeur conveniently skipped over Avery in the handshake line.
MAY 25, 2012. For the first time since ’93-94, the Devils and Rangers collided in the Eastern Conference Finals. After a late goal by Ryan Carter helped the Devils take Game 5 in the Garden, they returned to the Prudential Center with a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup for the first time since ’02-03. The game was deadlocked at the end of regulation. However, Adam Henrique scored 1:03 into OT after a furious netmouth scramble to propel the Devils to their fifth Cup Finals appearance. For Devils fans, Doc Emrick’s call will live on forever: “Henrique! It’s over!”
JAN. 26, 2014. This was the game played outdoors — how else? — on a frigid day at Yankee Stadium. At first the Devils looked like winners with an early goal burst but the Rangers trimmed it to 3-2 New Jersey at the end of the opening period. The Blueshirts smashed through with six straight goals — including four in the second frame — and won the game, 7-3, going away.Mats Zuccarello continued to establish his excellence with a pair of goals and was first star. Patrik Elias also got a pair in New Jersey’s losing cause. Despite the cold, the jammed crowd delighted in this unique event.