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Local NHL Update: Rangers and Devils Remain

…And then there were two.  With the Sabres eliminated from playoff contention in the season’s final week, the Islanders eliminated sometime in October, and the Bruins ousted from the playoffs in 7 games, only the Devils and Rangers remain alive.  And they’re both locked in tight series.  @JoeBianchino

Patrick McDermott, Getty Images

New York Rangers: The team that for so long was lauded for their grit and desire showed every bit of it coming back from down 3-2 and dispatching with the Ottawa Senators in the first round of these playoffs. They advanced to play the Washington Capitals, a team whose newly found defensive philosophy had many expecting a tight battle.  Such prognosticators have not been disappointed to late, as the Rangers won a closer-than-the-score-indicated game one; lost a hard fought game two after trading late goals with their opponents; and prevailed in Wednesday night’s exhaustive, three over time affair with Marion Gaborik netting the game winner.  The series will resume from Washington with the Rangers looking to pad their 2-1 lead on Saturday afternoon.

New Jersey Devils: The Devils showed some strength of their own, going on the road to capture a game seven win against the Panthers in what was the least-ballyhooed seven game series in professional sports history.  Momentum from the seven game win could carry them only so far, however, as the Devils ran into the suddenly firing-on-all-cylinders Flyers. They’d drop the first game of that series on the road and in overtime, but rallied with four unanswered goals in game two to even the series.  Thursday, the squads will be back at it – this time, however, from the…confines, of Jersey.

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