Rangers and Devils play a pivotal game 6 tonight in NJ. Devils have the chance to knock out the number 1 seeded New York Rangers after taking a 3-2 series lead with a 5-3 victory at MSG on Wednesday night. The Devils have been in control of this series through all 5 games, even though they have been shut out 3-0 twice. The Devils depth of lines 1-4 have really out played the Rangers, specifically the Devils 3rd and 4th lines. They have given them trouble all series long, the 4th line of the Devils have really shut down the Rangers top line, which is this biggest scoring threat on the team.
But the Rangers do have something in their favor tonight that is in Martin Brodeurs head, today is the 18th anniversary of the 94 series game 6 when “The Captain” Mark Messier came out and guaranteed his team will win tonight in NJ and bring it home for game 6. And they did, Messier scored a hat trick and brought hope back to NY for a game 7 where the Rangers went on to win in double overtime with a goal from Stephan Matteau. If it reaches a game 7, that game will also be played on the same day the Rangers won game 7 in NY back in 1994. Things are in the Rangers corner, but can Henrik Lundqvist rebound from his bad performance in game 5? A lot will rely on him in keeping his team in the game.
With the media in NY and all over the US trying to get Rangers Captain Ryan Callahan to make a guarantee, he just laughed and moved on to the next question. When asked about 1994 and if it has any effect on this Rangers team coach John Tortorella responded with “I just know that Hank will play his best game tomorrow night,” leaving a lot on the Swedish goal tender, Lundqvist will have to come up huge in order to push this back to NY on Sunday for game 7. With the way the Devils have played, but knowing how good the Rangers are with their backs against the wall, just like in games 6 and 7 against Ottawa which they went onto win and game 5 and 7 with Washington that helped them advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Rangers play well when they are down for the last punch.
We will see if NJ is able to hold off this comeback and advance to their first Stanley Cup appearance since winning it all in the 2002-2003 season. This game can go either way and a lot is on the backs of Lundqvist and Broduer, but ultimately I see this Ranger team winning this game 2-1 and forcing a game 7 in NY on Sunday with everything on the line.