The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils meet Wednesday night in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden.
Last night the Los Angeles Kings punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals when they knocked off Phoenix in 4-3 in overtime.
In this series, the Rangers are in familiar territory. In of their three playoff series, including this one, New York has won games one and three while dropping two and four. Playing game five at home in a tied series is becoming old hat for New York.
Fortunately for the Rangers, they have won game five in each of the previous series before losing game six and winning game seven. If the pattern holds true the Rangers will be thrilled, but that won't stop them from trying to win the next two and take their chances with the Kings.
But, the Rangers do have to bounce back from their worst loss of the playoffs; a 4-1 beat down in game four that saw the series finally show an edge that many fans expected with the rivalry matchup.
In the third period the Rangers Mike Rupp took a swing at Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur which led to fisticuffs on the ice and a screaming match between head coaches Peter DeBoer and John Tortorella at the benches.
DeBoer and Tortorella have exchanged jabs through the media since the game, with Tortorella calling out the Devils for diving and setting picks. DeBoer called those accusations ridiculous.
In game four, as has been the case in every game this series, the team that scored first has won the game, but perhaps more significantly, the Devils are 2-0 in games in which they score at all.
Both of the Devils losses came in 3-0 shut outs by Henrik Lundqvist, and featured sluggish first periods from the Devils, in both of their wins the Devils got going early with first period goals.
So in order to win, the Devils are going to have to find a way to put pressure on the Rangers early. New York, it seems, needs only weather the storm long enough for Lundqvist to get settled in and then let the game play out from there.
Where to watch: The game can be viewed online at www.firstrowsports.eu/sport/ice-hockey.html. It will also be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET.
Prediction: New Jersey hasn't shown enough of a consistent scoring punch against New York, and the Rangers know what is at stake in from of their home fans, look for another remarkable game from Lundqvist and another Rangers win.
Predicted Score: New York over New Jersey 3-1