DEVILS ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION WITH LOSS TO RIVAL RANGERS
Added by Tim Purcell on April 22, 2013.
The NY Rangers eliminted the NJ Devils from any chance of making the NHL Playoffs this season.
The New Jersey Devils suffered their most devastating loss of the season Sunday afternoon. Still having slim playoff hopes, the Devils took on cross-river rival New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, looking for their third consecutive win. A Devils victory would put them back into playoff contention, and a loss would eliminate their chances for a top eight playoff spot.
What the Devils did to the Rangers last May, was what the Rangers did to New Jersey this season: crush their cup dreams.
With a packed house in the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” the Blue Shirts gave their fans a lot to cheer about less than a minute in. The Rangers took to the early lead, just 34 seconds in, with a backdoor goal by captain Ryan Callahan, and they never looked back. Both teams played with a fast tempo, making it seem like it was an Eastern Conference Finals game from last May. New York finished the first period with a 2-0, after a deflection goal from young star Derek Stepan.
For the Devils, the night went from bad to worse. New Jersey continued to take penalty after penalty, as the frustration had finally reached the surface. They were mouthing back to the referees, hanging their heads, and losing their composure. With multiple roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, the Devils looked to have lost their way. New Jersey did not seem to have the legs, speed, and energy that the Rangers had that night. As the clock was ticking down to the final seconds of the game, and the Devils’ season, the scoreboard read 4-1. Adding insult to injury, the fans inside Madison Square Garden relentlessly chanted, “Seasons Over! Seasons Over!”.
With just a short 16 seconds left, Devils head coach Pete DeBoer was given a game misconduct for mouthing off with official Chris Rooney. DeBoer was seen walking off the bench shaking his head, showing his anger and frustration that was not shown all season long.
The Devils have three games remaining, all against high-powered competition; Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, and these very Rangers. Both Pittsburgh and Montreal have already clinched a playoff spot while the Rangers are still battling for the top eight. The Rangers avenged their ECF loss to the Devils by eliminating their rivals last night, but the Devils may have the very same opportunity when the play each other on the final day of the season.