NEWARK, NJ - MAY 19: Pregame ceremonies take place for Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final against the New Jersey Devils during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on May 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Time: 8:00 PM EDT
The Broadcast: TV - NBC SN, CBC, RDS; Radio - 1130 AM WBBR
The Game Specific Goal:
The Devils players, coaching, and management know this, but just to play the role of captain obvious, the Devils need to treat this as an elimination game. They need to come out playing like they have nothing to lose, but stay clean. If the Rangers get chippy, the Devils need to play their game and not retaliate.
The History: Much of the media has been comparing this series to the 1994 Conference Finals. For the younglings, including myself, the series went seven games and the Rangers clinched in double overtime. The series included three double overtime games in order to decide who moved on the Stanley Cup Finals. This series has nothing to do with that series and is in no way an indication of what will happen in game six, and possibly seven.
Coaching: Game one, the Rangers shut out the Devils and it was dismal. In game two, DeBoer adjusted and the Devils stole a game from the Rangers. In game three, the Rangers shut out the Devils again, with the same exact score. DeBoer adjusted again and frustrated the Rangers in a 4-1 win by the Devils. Then there was the rollercoaster ride of a game five in which I believe DeBoer outcoached Totorella, again. So what does this tell you...DeBoer is ready for anything Tortorella draws up.
Lines: Nothing has been said about either lineup from either Tom Gulitti or Andrew Gross. My guess, Josefson will play and Sykora will sit again. Just a guess, though.
The Bottom Line: The Devils and Rangers played each other six times in the regular season and five times in the playoffs. That's a lot of hockey against one team. I normally hate saying this, but whichever team wants it more will win tonight. They have studied each other, they have played each other in every situation, and their home arenas are only a few miles apart. Both teams know what's coming tonight.
Folks, this is going to be one heck of a game. Sit down and relax a little before the game, because you're going to get a workout watching it. That's all I have to say about the game. What's the key to winning tonight? Intangibles? Scoring depth? Let's hear what everyone else has to say! And one final note... SWARM IT UP!