New Jersey Devils Vs. New York Rangers: A Playoffs History

Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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John Madden #11 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

2007-08 Eastern Conference 1st Round: Rangers Win Series 4-1

In the 1st round of the 2008 Playoffs, the fourth-seed Devils would find themselves matched up against the fifth-seed Rangers for the 5th all-time postseason matchup. This season was a great example of when NHL fans talk about how the Devils were carried by their defense. After the regular season, New Jersey finished 26th in the league in goals with 206 yet 4th in the NHL in goals against with 197.

Imagine being one of the worst-scoring teams in hockey yet still having a goal differential of +9. Unfortunately, the Rangers had a similar team build. NY had the 23rd-worst goal total and were 5th in goals against.

Regarding the result of this series, the winner would be determined by who’s offense would click first, and for the Rangers, that was exactly the case. The ‘Blue Shirts’ claimed the series in five games, outscoring the Devils 17-12.

Henrik Lundqvist was much sharper this time, recording a save percentage of .917. Additionally, Rangers forwards all made plenty of contributions, including former Devil Scott Gomez. He had three goals and four assists while picking up a point in 4 of the 5 contests.

At the end of the day, the Devils didn’t play a bad series. New Jersey’s downfall was getting outscored 9-2 across all five 3rd periods and being unable to get the go-ahead goal in tie games.

While the Rangers would meet their fate in a five-game series loss to the Eastern Conference Champion Penguins in Round 2, you have to give that team credit for finishing games at an elite level throughout five exhausting matches.

Series Standout:

It’s redemption time for Jaromir Jagr. After being arguably the most disappointing Ranger during the 2006 series, the captain put together a team-high eight points across five games in 95:31 on the ice (2nd on the team). While Jagr would take a three-year break from the NHL after this season, he certainly was very productive in the Devils’ 2007-2008 downfall.

Series Sufferer:

You need your defenseman to perform when you’re a team that relies on defense. This series was a rough one for Paul Martin. After being second on the team with a +20, he was last on the team during this series with a -8. Again, it’s hard to point fingers at Martin as the primary scapegoat, but if anyone is it, it’s definitely him.