Three-way Dance With The Devils In The Pale Moonlight: March 19th, 2012

Why not start with one of the most heated rivalries in the New York-area?

Aside from the Islanders getting every Rangers fan blood boiling when the two get together, the Rangers-Devils matchups are always entertaining.

What makes these two teams standout more is that their bad blood boil spawned from postseason action. Every Rangers fan is familiar with the feelings of elation in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1994. Vanquishing a young rookie netminder in Martin Brodeur, only to fall to him in the proceeding years in the Hudson River Rivalry.

On this night, the Rangers’ playoff lives were on the line. They needed a win over New Jersey to secure a spot in the postseason.

Dave Lazzo of described what unfolded at center ice:

The Rangers’ Mike Rupp, Brandon Prust and Stu Bickel fought Eric Boulton, Cam Janssen and Ryan Carter, respectively, in a scene out of “Slap Shot” that played out to the delight of 18,200 fans. Carter left the ice bloodied after his bout, and Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador received a 10-minute misconduct for trying to pull Bickel off Carter after the pair fell to the ice and Bickel continued to throw punches…As the visiting team, the Devils must declare their lineup first. The Rangers countered with their tough guys and had Dubinsky, a forward, lined up as a defenseman to allow Bickel to move up to forward…Rangers coach John Tortorella was shown by NBCSN cameras shouting in the direction of Devils coach Peter DeBoer after the fracas…