1994 Revisited: Rangers-Devils
Game 1: Devils 4, Rangers 3 (2OT)
The Devils stunned the Rangers in the opener. Claude Lemieux scored with 42.7 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime. After one scoreless overtime, Stephane Richer (44) beat Mike Richter with 4:37 left in the second OT. "We're usually very good holding leads in the third period, but we let this one get away," Rangers defenseman Kevin Lowe told the Associated Press.
Game 2: Rangers 4, Devils 0
The Rangers rebounded two nights later. Richter made 16 saves, a fairly easy route to his fourth shutout of the playoffs. Mark Messier (center) found the net 1:13 into the game and was joined on the scoresheet by Glenn Anderson, Adam Graves and Sergei Nemchinov. "We let (Game 1) slip away," Richter told the AP, "we were determined not to let it happen tonight."
Game 3: Rangers 3, Devils 2 (2OT)
Stephane Matteau scored 6:13 into the second overtime to restore the Rangers' home-ice advantage. Of course, he was just getting started in this series. Martin Brodeur was valiant in defeat, stopping 47 of 50 shots.
Game 4: Devils 3, Rangers 1
The Devils were without center Bernie Nicholls, suspended one game for cross-checking Alexei Kovalev in Game 3. It didn't matter. Stephane Richer (pictured) and Bill Guerin scored in the first period, while the Rangers managed just three shots in the opening 20 minutes. Richter was pulled for Glenn Healy, who was beaten by Valeri Zelepukin in the third.
Game 5: Devils 4, Rangers 1
Nicholls made up for lost time with two goals -- one shorthanded and one power-play -- to put the Devils on the verge of their first Stanley Cup Final. The rookie Brodeur made 25 saves. "I'm sure they're gaining a tremendous amount of confidence from him, as has been the case in the history of the league a la Patrick Roy last year," Rangers coach Mike Keenan said of Brodeur, according to the Boston Globe.
Game 6: Rangers 4, Devils 2
"I know we are going to go in there and win Game 6," Messier said before the game. "We know we have to win it. We feel we can win it and we are going to win it." Messier delivered on his guarantee. The captain went out and scored three goals and assisted on the other, an iconic performance. He tied the game at 2-2 early in the third, scored the go-ahead goal 10 minutes later and added an empty-netter. "We've got Babe Ruth on our team," Rangers forward Nick Kypreos told the Hartford Courant.
Game 7: Rangers 2, Devils 1 (2OT)
"Matteau, Matteau, Matteau!" Howie Rose's call of the goal that sent the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1979 is still audible to many hockey fans. New York nearly won it in regulation, but Zelepukin tied it with 7.7 seconds left. It set the stage for Matteau's (left) second double-overtime winner of the series, deflecting off Slava Fetisov's stick and past Brodeur. The Rangers would go on to beat the Canucks in seven games for their first championship since 1940.