cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/22/2012 06:45 PM

NHL
Dunkel

Los Angeles at Phoenix
The Kings look to bounce back from their loss in Game Four and build on their 7-0 record in their last 7 road games. Los Angeles is the pick (-125) according to Dunkel, which has the Kings favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-125). Here are all of today's picks.

TUESDAY, MAY 22

Game 17-18: Los Angeles at Phoenix (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 13.562; Phoenix 12.765
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles (-125); 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-125); Under




NHL
Long Sheet

Tuesday, May 22

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LOS ANGELES (51-29-0-15, 117 pts.) at PHOENIX (51-31-0-15, 117 pts.) - 5/22/2012, 9:05 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
LOS ANGELES is 12-10-0 straight up against PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
10 of 19 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+0.2 Units)

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NHL
Short Sheet

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WC Finals, Game Five (Los Angeles Leads, 3-1)
Los Angeles at Phoenix, 9:05 ET NBCSN
Los Angeles: 8-2 SU when leading in a playoff series
Phoenix: 10-2 Under off a shutout road win




NHL
Armadillo's Write-Up

Tuesday, May 22

Kings (3-1) @ Coyotes-- Los Angeles is now 11-2 in playoffs, 7-0 on road; its last road loss was April 7. Overall, they've won eight of last nine games, with one win by less than two goals. Coyotes have been outshot 152-91 so far in series, 104-63 in first two periods. Phoenix is 4-4 at home in playoffs, 0-2 in this series, losing 4-2/4-0. Ten of last thirteen series games stayed under total, as have six of last seven Phoenix games. A few NHL teams have come back to win series after being down 3-0, but you can count them on one hand.




NHL

Tuesday, May 22

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Trend Report
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9:00 PM
LOS ANGELES vs. PHOENIX
Los Angeles is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Phoenix
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Los Angeles's last 7 games when playing Phoenix
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Phoenix's last 7 games
Phoenix is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games when playing Los Angeles


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NHL

Tuesday, May 22

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Kings at Coyotes: What bettors need to know
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Los Angeles Kings at Phoenix Coyotes (115, 4.5)

THE STORY: With the Phoenix Coyotes facing an unceremonious sweep in the Western Conference finals, their captain stepped up to extend their season by at least two more days. With Shane Doan's two-goal performance leading Phoenix to its first win of the series, the Coyotes look to defend home ice as they entertain the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 on Tuesday night. Netminder Mike Smith was sharp in the Game 4 victory and will need to be just as good if the Coyotes plan on returning to L.A.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBCS, CBC

ABOUT THE KINGS: Los Angeles is coming off a loss for just the second time this postseason, but the club doesn't seem overly concerned. That may be due, at least in part, to the fact that the Kings are 7-0 on the road in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Los Angeles had hoped to close things out Sunday afternoon but was stymied by Smith, who turned aside 36 shots. "He's been a great goalie for them all year," said Kings forward Dustin Penner. "As forwards, we've got to do something different, or a little bit better, to make him work harder, and not just be satisfied with getting the puck on net."

ABOUT THE COYOTES: Doan was the best skater on either team in Game 4 - and as head coach Dave Tippett pointed out, that wasn't all the veteran forward brought to the table. "You don't see all the things that happened behind the scenes in the dressing room, inspiration for the guys there, how much he cares about this team and winning," he said. "When you can do that behind-the-scenes stuff, bag it up with the on-the-ice stuff, it speaks volumes for who he is." The 35-year-old Doan has been with the club since it moved from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996, and is competing in his first-ever conference finals.

TRENDS:

*Kings are 7-0 in their last seven road games.
*Coyotes are 2-5 in their last seven games as home dogs.
*Under is 6-1 in Phoenix's last seven games playing on one day's rest.
*Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.

OVERTIME:

1. Game 4 marked the first time the Kings had been shut out in a playoff game since losing 4-0 to the Colorado Avalanche on April 29, 2002.

2. The Kings are 10-8 all-time in the playoffs in potential close-out games.

3. Doan's first-period power-play goal ended a string of 30 straight penalty kills by the Kings.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/23/2012 07:29 PM

Rangers And Devils Return To MSG All-Even

The contentious Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils returns to Madison Square Garden at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday night.

A look out west at the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes series is first on the agenda. This is a Game 5 and the Kings can end the series for a second time after failing to get the job done on Sunday (2-0 home loss). Savvy veteran Shane Doan had both goals and Mike Smith was great between the pipes with 36 saves.

The Kings went 0-for-6 on the power play and are just 6-for-70 (8.6 percent) for the playoffs. They’ve been able to win despite this so far, but it is something to keep an eye on.

The Tuesday night affair at 9:00 p.m. (ET) has Los Angeles as 130 road favorites and a total of 4½, shaded to the ‘over.’ It’s no surprise the Kings are favored as they’ve been playing great hockey overall and have incredibly won all seven road playoff games this year. The two this series were by a combined margin of 8-2.

Don Best Sports analyst Brian Blessing has loved the Kings since before the playoffs, but couldn’t help but be impressed by Phoenix last game. The Coyotes showed a lot of guts to stave off elimination and play at least one more game in front of the home fans. If Smith stands on his head again, this series will go back to L.A. with the pressure squarely on the home team.

Getting back to the Rangers and Devils, the series is tied 2-2 and has alternated winners each game. New Jersey got a crucial 4-1 home win on Monday and this is really getting ugly after a punch on goalie Marty Brodeur by Mike Rupp and a screaming match between coaches John Tortorella and Peter DeBoer.

This is down to a best-of-three and the Rangers are 130 favorites on Wednesday with a total of 4 ½, shaded to the ‘over.’

This is the third time in these playoffs that the Rangers have returned home tied 2-2. Against Ottawa in the first round, they lost 2-0 in Game 5 before winning in seven. Against Washington last round, they won Game 5 in overtime 3-2 before also winning in seven.

The Devils were tied 2-2 in games in the first round against the Panthers They lost Game 5 in Florida 3-0 before winning the next two (both in OT) and the series.

Blessing believes the Devils have been the better team, with Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist the reason the series is even tied. The atmosphere is going to be electric in the Big Apple, so don’t miss this one

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/23/2012 07:29 PM

Rangers And Devils Return To MSG All-Even

The contentious Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils returns to Madison Square Garden at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday night.

A look out west at the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes series is first on the agenda. This is a Game 5 and the Kings can end the series for a second time after failing to get the job done on Sunday (2-0 home loss). Savvy veteran Shane Doan had both goals and Mike Smith was great between the pipes with 36 saves.

The Kings went 0-for-6 on the power play and are just 6-for-70 (8.6 percent) for the playoffs. They’ve been able to win despite this so far, but it is something to keep an eye on.

The Tuesday night affair at 9:00 p.m. (ET) has Los Angeles as 130 road favorites and a total of 4½, shaded to the ‘over.’ It’s no surprise the Kings are favored as they’ve been playing great hockey overall and have incredibly won all seven road playoff games this year. The two this series were by a combined margin of 8-2.

Don Best Sports analyst Brian Blessing has loved the Kings since before the playoffs, but couldn’t help but be impressed by Phoenix last game. The Coyotes showed a lot of guts to stave off elimination and play at least one more game in front of the home fans. If Smith stands on his head again, this series will go back to L.A. with the pressure squarely on the home team.

Getting back to the Rangers and Devils, the series is tied 2-2 and has alternated winners each game. New Jersey got a crucial 4-1 home win on Monday and this is really getting ugly after a punch on goalie Marty Brodeur by Mike Rupp and a screaming match between coaches John Tortorella and Peter DeBoer.

This is down to a best-of-three and the Rangers are 130 favorites on Wednesday with a total of 4 ½, shaded to the ‘over.’

This is the third time in these playoffs that the Rangers have returned home tied 2-2. Against Ottawa in the first round, they lost 2-0 in Game 5 before winning in seven. Against Washington last round, they won Game 5 in overtime 3-2 before also winning in seven.

The Devils were tied 2-2 in games in the first round against the Panthers They lost Game 5 in Florida 3-0 before winning the next two (both in OT) and the series.

Blessing believes the Devils have been the better team, with Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist the reason the series is even tied. The atmosphere is going to be electric in the Big Apple, so don’t miss this one

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/23/2012 07:31 PM

2012 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

No. 6 NEW JERSEY DEVILS

at No. 1 NEW YORK RANGERS


Eastern Conference Finals
Game 5 – Series tied 2-2
Puck Drops: Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: New York -130, New Jersey +110, Total: 4½


The Hudson River Rivalry shifts back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Wednesday as the Eastern Conference Finals become a best-of-three series.

True to their postseason zigzag trend, the Rangers dropped Game 4 by a 4-1 score on Monday in New Jersey. The Blueshirts have now failed to notch back-to-back wins in a series in 11 straight games, and New York fell to 0-3 in Game 4’s in these playoffs. The Devils played like the hungrier team, and head coach Peter DeBoer’s line shifting had a positive effect on the New Jersey lineup, as the Devils became the first team to score more than three goals on the Rangers in the postseason. After four games, it’s clear that the Devils hold an advantage at the forward position when they show a commitment to creating traffic in front of Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. If the Devs continue to forecheck aggressively, they have enough team speed to bury a Rangers team that continues to struggle to generate consistent offense. The way this series has gone though, it would be difficult to pick against the Rangers at home coming off a loss. Instead, look to the total: in the Rangers’ seven games immediately following a loss in the 2012 playoffs, the under is 5-0-2. New York might not win, but you can be sure that John Tortorella’s club will play with a renewed sense of vigor and discipline, making for a hard-fought, low scoring battle. The UNDER is the play.

This three-star FoxSheets trend also likes the total to go Under 4.5 (+100):

Play Under - Home teams against the total (N.Y. RANGERS) - revenging a road blowout loss versus opponent by 3 goals or more, a good team (60% to 70%) playing a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) in the 2nd half of the season. (44-17 since 1996.) (72.1%, +26.9 units. Rating = 3*).

The Devils set the tone right from the opening faceoff on Monday, and like Game 2, were able to get the first goal of the contest to set the tone. New Jersey plays such a high-pressure system, constantly applying pressure to keep the puck in the offensive zone, that you can start to see some of fatigue on the Rangers blueline. Tortorella opts to play four defensemen regularly while using two sparingly, and for a team that has already played in two seven-game series, you have to believe the New York defensive corps is starting to tire.

In Game 3, DeBoer shifted Kovalchuk down to play LW on the second line with Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias and brought Dainius Zubrus up to play on the right side with Travis Zajac and Zach Parise—and the switch proved to be a genius move. Parise had two goals and an assist—a beautiful cross-ice saucer pass to Zajac on a 2-on-1—to lead New Jersey. Henrique and Kovalchuk chipped in assists on Parise’s third-period power play tally, which put the game out of reach. Martin Brodeur also had a strong showing in between the pipes, turning away 28-of-29 shots to increase his SV Pct. to a robust .931 for the series.

It’s no secret that scoring the first goal is important in the NHL, but for the Rangers, it is imperative. In the 2012 playoffs, the Blueshirts are 9-2 when they score first, and 1-6 when they don’t. Make no mistake, this glaring statistic is a direct byproduct of New York’s defensive style, and don’t expect that to change against an aggressive offensive team like the Devils. The Rangers are an excellent hockey club, but they simply do not play a style conducive to playing from behind. Look for Henrik Lundqvist (1.65 GAA, .939 SV Pct. in 2012 playoffs) to have a big bounce-back game on Wednesday after allowing a soft goal to open up the scoring in Game 4.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/23/2012 07:33 PM

NHL
Long Sheet

Wednesday, May 23

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NEW JERSEY (58-33-0-7, 123 pts.) at NY RANGERS (61-30-0-9, 131 pts.) - 5/23/2012, 8:05 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
NY RANGERS is 12-10 (+0.5 Units) against the spread versus NEW JERSEY over the last 3 seasons
NY RANGERS is 12-10-0 straight up against NEW JERSEY over the last 3 seasons
11 of 19 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+2.9 Units)

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NHL
Short Sheet

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

EC Finals, Game Five (Series Tied, 2-2)
New Jersey at NY Rangers, 8:05 ET NBCSN
New Jersey: 6-0 Under Away off home division win
NY Rangers: 0-6 SU at home off division loss by 2+ goals




NHL
Armadillo's Write-Up

Wednesday, May 23

Devils (2-2) @ Rangers-- While these two rivals pummel each other, LA Kings (12-2 in playoffs) sit out west awaiting winner; Devils were shut out in both of their losses in series, pair of 3-0 games that were scoreless after second period. New Jersey won six of its last eight games; they're 4-3 on road in playoffs this spring. Rangers are 6-4 at home in playoffs. Devils are 2-18 on power play this series, New York is 4-11. Rangers are 10-8 in playoffs; under is 9-2-5 in their last 16 games. Seven of nine Ranger goals in this series came in third period.




NHL

Wednesday, May 23

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Trend Report
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8:00 PM
NEW JERSEY vs. NY RANGERS
New Jersey is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
New Jersey is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the NY Rangers last 6 games
NY Rangers are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games at home


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NHL

Wednesday, May 23

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Devils at Rangers: What bettors need to know
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New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers (-130, 4.5)

THE STORY: The gloves have finally come off - both figuratively and literally - in the Eastern Conference finals, with the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils all square heading into Game 5 Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Devils' Game 4 victory was punctuated by the first fight of the series, and an incident that saw the Rangers' Mike Rupp deliver a stiff-arm punch to the chest of New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur. Lost in the rough stuff was a sensational performance by Devils captain Zach Parise.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCS, CBC

ABOUT THE DEVILS: Parise was the best player on either side of the ice in Game 4, scoring twice and adding a beautiful setup on Travis Zajac's first-period goal. Yet, as good as he was, Parise himself seemed more pleased with his team's discipline after the Rangers threatened to escalate things. ''It's not the way we play, as we showed against the Flyers," said Parise, whose Devils eliminated Philadelphia in round two. "We do a good job of staying out of that and playing disciplined. That has worked well for us, so far." New Jersey is expected to stick with the exact lineup that prevailed on Monday.

ABOUT THE RANGERS: Rupp doesn't believe any of the incidents from Game 4 - his punch of Brodeur included - will carry over into Wednesday's pivotal fifth game. ''I don't think it's anything that I need to let go or our team needs to let go," he said. ''We're focused on a three-game series, and we've got two of those games at home. We're confident in that. We faced that the first two rounds, so we're going to go at it the same way.'' Rangers head coach John Tortorella, who engaged in a shouting match with Devils counterpart Peter DeBoer at one point, held a mandatory practice Tuesday to get his players back on task.

TRENDS:

*Devils are 6-0 in their last six games playing on one day's rest.
*Rangers are 16-6 in their last 22 games following a loss by 3 or more goals.
*Home team is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
*Under is 6-2-2 in the last 10 meetings in New York.

OVERTIME:

1. Parise's two-goal effort equaled his output from the previous 11 games.

2. Brodeur recorded an assist Monday to become the first goaltender in NHL history to record four points in a single postseason.

3. Rangers F Marian Gaborik, who finished third in the league with 41 goals in the regular season, is still looking for his first point of the series.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/23/2012 07:35 PM

Wednesday, May 23

Game Score Status Pick Amount

New Jersey - 8:00 PM ET NY Rangers -124 500

NY Rangers - Over 5 500

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/25/2012 06:44 PM

Friday, May 25

Game Score Status Pick Amount

NY Rangers - 8:00 PM ET New Jersey -118 500

New Jersey - Over 4.5 500

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/25/2012 06:47 PM

Devils Favored To Finish Rangers In Game 6

We're less than a week away from the start of the Stanley Cup Finals, and the New Jersey Devils are a win away from getting there.

New Jersey moved a step away from a trip to the championship series with Wednesday night's 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Devils exploded to an early three-zip advantage before needing a pair of late goals to claim the triumph.

The win gave New Jersey a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals as the scene shifts back to Newark's Prudential Center for Game 6 on Friday (8:00 p.m. ET). Opening numbers showed the Devils as 130 favorites, but that money line has since been bet down to -120 to -125 at most shops listed on the Don Best odds screen.

Friday's total is 4½ goals and favors the 'over.'

New Jersey charged out of the gate with three first-period goals, the first by Stephen Gionta less than three minutes into the contest. Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac followed with lamp-lighters over the course of the next seven minutes, and it appeared that a Devils rout was on.

New York got on the board with a little more than four minutes remaining in the first when Brandon Prust netted his first goal of the playoffs, and Ryan Callahan followed just 32 seconds into the second period with his fifth postseason score.

The Rangers tied it with Marian Gaborik's goal just 17 seconds into the third, and the momentum seemed to have completely swung in New York's favor with the packed MSG crowd sensing more magic from their Blueshirts.

It never came as New Jersey's Ryan Carter scored what proved to be the game winner with about 4½ minutes remaining. Zach Parise added an empty netter to complete the evening's scoring.

The eight combined goals were the most for either team this postseason, and it came in a contest that totaled just 45 shots on goal, 28 by New York and 17 for New Jersey.

It also came in a game in which both teams kept their emotions in check after a very contentious Game 4 that spilled over from the ice to the benches where coaches Peter DeBoer of the Devils and John Tortorella of the Rangers even got into a shouting match. With the exception of a few third-period penalties, including unsportsmanlike conduct calls at the very end on New York's Michael Del Zotto and New Jersey's Steve Bernier, the contest was played without incident.

The lack of penalties limited both squads to just a pair of power play opportunities, and neither team was able to capitalize. New York has only had three power play chances in the last two games, failing to score on any, and is 4-for-13 with the advantage for the series. New Jersey is 2-for-20 with a man advantage.

Wednesday's final left the 'over' 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals, each game listed with a 4½-goal total. New York is 9-4-6 'under' for the playoffs while New Jersey checks into Game 6 with an 8-6-3 lean to the 'over.'

New York has been up against it in must-win games three times this postseason, and managed to win all three. The first two came in Games 6 and 7 of the opening-round series with Ottawa before going the full seven in the conference semis vs. Washington. If the Rangers can force a seventh game in this series, it will be played at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night (8:00 ET).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/25/2012 06:49 PM

Playoff Results - Third Round

May 24, 2012

Home teams are 3-7
Favorites are 7-3
Favorites that won are 4-3 on the puck-line
The 'over/under' stands at 5-5

Sun May 13, 2012

Away Home Score ATS Result Total Result
Los Angeles (-115) Phoenix 4-2 Favorite Over 5

Mon May 14, 2012
New Jersey NY Rangers (-130) 3-0 Favorite Under 4.5

Tue May 15, 2012
Los Angeles (-115) Phoenix 4-0 Favorite Under 4.5

Wed May 16, 2012
New Jersey (+125) NY Rangers 3-2 Underdog Over 4.5

Thu May 17, 2012
Phoenix Los Angeles (-210) 2-1 Favorite Under 4.5

Sat May 19, 2012
NY Rangers (-110) New Jersey 3-0 Favorite Under 4.5

Sun May 20, 2012
Phoenix (+170) Los Angeles 2-0 Underdog Under 4.5

Mon May 21, 2012
NY Rangers New Jersey (-125) 4-1 Favorite Over 4.5

Tue May 22, 2012
Los Angeles (-135) Phoenix 4-3 Favorite Over 4.5

Wed May 23, 2012
New Jersey (+110) NY Rangers 5-3 Underdog Over 4.5

Fri May 25, 2012
NY Rangers New Jersey

Sun May 27, 2012*
New Jersey NY Rangers



*If Necessary


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25683 Followers:33
05/25/2012 06:51 PM

Rangers have no guarantee for Game 6

May 24, 2012


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Eighteen years ago, Mark Messier set the stage for one of sports' most dramatic moments.

On the eve of the New York Rangers' must-win Game 6 against the Devils in New Jersey in the 1994 Eastern Conference finals, Messier guaranteed his team would force a deciding contest back at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers not only won, Messier backed up his boast with a hat trick.

Fast forward to now. The teams once more head to a Game 6, in New Jersey, with the Rangers - again the East's top team - down 3-2, needing a win to stay alive.

That's where the similarity ends.

There is no Messier in the Rangers' locker room to will his team to victory after predicting it. And this time, New York really isn't the star-laden team that ended the franchise's half-century Stanley Cup drought back in 1994.

No way.

The Devils have shown repeatedly in this best-of-seven series they are just as good as their long-time, cross-river rivals. Their series lead is well deserved, having outplayed New York in all but a few periods.

The only game the Rangers dominated was Game 5, and the Devils won, 5-3, to take the lead in the series based on a strong start and a stronger finish.

Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur is the only player remaining from the memorable 1994 series. Now 40, he was the difference on Wednesday night in New York.

``I don't see anything that is similar,'' Brodeur said Thursday in a conference call. ``I know if you guys look at it, it looks the same. But it's different teams and a different way of playing the game. That's 18 years ago. That's a long time. I know I'm feeling a lot different. I'm feeling a lot more appreciative of what's going on.

``Before, the Rangers were a good team when they beat us. We were not supposed to compete with them at all in '94. They made these trades and they had all these big guys at the end, and they pulled it off in a dramatic way.''

Messier's three Game 6 goals forced a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden, where Rangers forward Stephane Matteau beat Brodeur with a wraparound in double overtime to give New York a 2-1 win and the East crown. Brodeur was just a rookie at the time.

``But this time around, we feel we can play with them,'' said Brodeur, who led the Devils to the franchise's first Stanley Cup in 1995, some 13 months after Matteau's tally. ``It makes me feel a lot more comfortable going into these games coming up.''

Rangers coach John Tortorella downplayed the comparison, saying his players were not even thinking about it.

``Not to disrespect what happened,'' he said, ``but that has nothing to do with how we're preparing, I guess, is the best way to put it.''

The Devils aren't preparing with history dancing through their heads, either. New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer, in fact, said his only memory of the guarantee was that he still had hair 18 years ago.

Even Brodeur seemed stunned, saying the Devils were so isolated in the postseason in '94 that he was not aware of Messier's guarantee until questioned about it after the Rangers' 4-2 win, a game in which New Jersey led 2-0 until late in the second period.

``I don't know when he did it,'' Brodeur said. ``I think it was in the morning skate or something. It could have been the night before. But again, I don't recall it having an effect on us at all. But I think at the end of the game, everybody made a big deal out of that. If he really said it, it's a pretty gutsy thing to do.''

The Rangers seemed to find themselves in Game 5 after falling behind 3-0 in the opening 10 minutes. They tied the game early in the third on a fluky goal by Marian Gaborik, but they seemed to stop skating with the same intensity after that.

Devils fourth-line center Ryan Carter scored with less than five minutes remaining in regulation and Zach Parise added an empty-net goal to cement the New Jersey victory.

Now, the Devils are in position to advance to their first Stanley Cup final since 2003 and a meeting with the Los Angeles Kings, starting next week. All they have to do is win on either Friday here or Sunday in New York, where they have already won two of three.

``I don't think we're looking at two chances,'' said New Jersey forward Dainius Zubrus, who hopes to return to the Cup final for the first time since his rookie season in 1996-97 with Philadelphia. ``We want to do it (Friday). We're definitely not hoping to win, we want to win. We don't want to go back to their building.

``It was a tough game. They played really well (on Wednesday), and we don't want to be going back for Game 7. That's for sure.''

The Rangers know what it is like to face a must-win game. They had to win the final two contests against Ottawa in the opening round, including Game 6 on the road. They also had a Game 7 against Washington in the second round.

``It's a do or die, almost like a Game 7,'' said Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko, who has won Cups with Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. ``We have been there many times, and I feel like we know what we need to do and we will do it.''

The biggest thing is to keep the puck out of the net. New Jersey, shut out in Games 1 and 3, has scored nine times in the last two games, with seven beating Henrik Lundqvist and two coming with the goaltender pulled.

``We can't put more pressure on ourselves. We always want to win,'' Lundqvist said. ``You always want to play a desperate game. (But) you don't want to go out there and do too much and be too excited. You need to find a good balance emotionally, and just go out there and try to play as well as you can.''

Kind of like how Messier and Co. did 18 years ago

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: