The Rangers have accomplished something for the first time since 1994.
No, they haven’t won the Stanley Cup yet, but Tuesday night’s win against the Devils was certainly a step in the right direction.
For the first time since the 1993-94 season, the Rangers captured the Presidents’ Trophy, locking it up with a 4–2 victory over New Jersey on the road. The win also clinched the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs for the Blueshirts.
Led by rookie Kevin Hayes’s three points, the Rangers managed to hold off a scrappy Devils team that came alive in the third period after fighting off penalties through the first two frames. Goalie Cory Schneider kept the hosts in the game and finished with 36 saves, but New Jersey couldn’t bounce back after James Sheppard’s eventual winner midway through the third. Carl Hagelin’s empty-netter, off a pass from Hayes, put the game out of reach with 1:48 to go.
With just two games remaining the Rangers have 111 points. That’s one shy of the franchise record, also set in ’93-94.
The Ducks and Blues, the teams that had a chance to catch the Rangers entering the night, will now duke it out to see who will get the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Anaheim leads St. Louis by two points, and both teams have two games to go.