New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils Hockey Rivalry
The rivalry between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils is one of the most prolific rivalries in the National Hockey League. These two teams play less than 10 miles from each other, just across the Hudson River.
The rivalry between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils is also known as the Hudson River Rivalry. They are also called “cross-river rivals.” This is because the New York Rangers play in Madison Square Garden, located in Midtown Manhattan, and the New Jersey Devils play in the Prudential Center in Downtown Newark, less than 10 miles across the Hudson River.
This rivalry began when the Devils moved from Colorado to the New York metropolitan area in 1982. Their first meeting in the playoffs did not happen until ten years later, at the 1992 Patrick Division Semi-Finals. Here, the Rangers survived a seven-game series with the Devils, despite the Devils’ overall playoff superiority in the early 1990s.
Two of the most defining moments of this rivalry were the 1994 and 1995 Stanley Cup playoffs. In 1994 the Rangers ended up winning the Eastern Conference Finals after an intense season. Both franchises were the top-scoring teams in the NHL that year. However, the next year, in 1995, the Devils won the Eastern Conference Finals after their rivals won the year prior. The Devils were the first team in the NHL to win the Stanley Cup without having home-ice advantage in any of the playoff rounds.
Notable Rivalry Games
Rangers at Devils on May 25th, 1994: During this game, Mark Messier turned in one of the best big-game performances in NHL history by scoring a hat trick after guaranteeing a Game 6 win of the Eastern Conference Finals for the Rangers.
Devils at Rangers on May 27th, 1994: After the Rangers had just won Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Stephane Matteau scored a double-overtime goal in Game 7 to secure a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals for the Rangers.
Rangers at Devils on April 22nd, 2006: During this game, the Devils earned their 12th straight victory by beating the Rangers 6-1 in the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals series opener.
Devils at Rangers on April 13th, 2008: Rangers' left wing Sean Avery famously waved his stick in front of Martin Brodeur’s face in an attempt to distract him, but the Devils won in overtime against the Rangers.
Notable Players and Coaches in the Rivalry
Mark Messier, Rangers center from 1991-1997: Mark Messier was a Canadian-born center in the NHL for many years. He scored a hat trick during game six against the Devils during the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals.
Stephane Matteau, Rangers left wing from 1993-1996:Matteau played over 800 regular-season games during his NHL career. During his time with the New York Rangers, he scored the winning goal during double-overtime in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Patrik Elias, Devils left wing from 1995-2016: Elias is a Czech former professional hockey player who played for the New Jersey Devils for 20 seasons. He was the Devils’ all-time leader in points, assists, and goals. He also holds the team’s record for the most points in a season and the most career game-winning goals.
Martin Brodeur, Devils goaltender from 1991-2014: Brodeur is a Canadian-American former NHL player who is regarded as one of the best goaltenders of all time. He has won two Olympic Gold Medals and three Stanley Cups during his career.
Sean Avery, Rangers left wing from 2007-2008: During Avery’s career as a professional hockey player, he became widely known for his disrespectful behavior both on and off the ice.
Why are the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils rivals?
The New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils are rivals because they both play in the New York City metropolitan area. The Rangers play at Madison Square Garden, and the Devils play at the Prudential Center. These two arenas are located under 10 miles from each other across the Hudson River. Since these two teams are so close, they have a territorial rivalry. Additionally, the Rangers and Devils both play in the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference, making their rivalry even more intense.
When did the rivalry between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils start?
The rivalry between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils started in 1982. This was when the Devils moved from Colorado to New Jersey. They did this despite having to pay territorial fees to the Rangers, New York Islanders, and the Philadelphia Flyers. This started the Hudson River Rivalry, but the two teams did not meet until the Patrick Division Semi-Finals in 1992, ten years later.
Do the Rangers and Devils play in the same division?
The New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils both play in the Metropolitan Division, also referred to often as the “Metro Division” This Division was formed in 2013 as part of a league realignment and is the successor of the original Atlantic Division. The Metropolitan Division contains some of the most iconic rivalries in the NHL, including the Devils-Rangers rivalry.