So the NJ Devils came ready for a brawl at the Garden last night. The Rangers accepted that challenge, won that, then won the hockey game beating the brawling Devs 4-2 in a HUGE win for the Broadway Blueshirts. The victory clinched a playoff spot the earliest the team has done that since winning the Presidents cup in 91-92. Just as important perhaps thay also cushioned their 1st place lead in the Conference to 3 points off the resting Penguins and 5 points over the idle Flyers.

The loss kept the Devs 3 points ahead of the  Ottawa Senators for the very important 6th. Right now the 6th spot means a 1st round playoff  matchup with the Florida Panthers. 7th gets you the defending champion Boston Bruins. Yeah no brainer. This race is very fluid as teams jockey not only for playoff spots but seeding as well.

The Devils came in figuring they could intimidate the Rangers starting a bunch of thugs and brawlers. The Rangers were ready and laid down the punishment. 3 seconds after the faceoff the fists were flying. 7 players were tagged for the sin bin, 4 Devils and 3 Rangers all for fighting. The Devs lost that as well as 4 of their players/thugs got sent off to 3 for the Rangers.

Ryan Carter, Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton all got 5 minutes and Bryce Salvador got 10. For the rangers the trio of Mike Rupp, Stu Bickel and Brandon Prust all got flagged for 5 minutes. Afetr Ranger coach John Tortorella saw the Jersey goons wanted to fight and not play he sent Stu Bickle, a defensman out to take the faceoff and off we went. Carter got his face split open ala the WWE and Bickel caught him solid. The Dovs (purpose mistake) lost the fight and the game. Take that coach DeBoer!

When the game finally got going the Rangers not only proved to be titans of the scoreboard but they hit and hit and hit the jersey thugs. The stats say the Rangers outhit the Devil clowns 41-23. Hey Devil coach Petey have your team learn how to hit legit. No I don't like the Dovs and never have!

Brandon Dubinski scored 1.11 into the contest and the Rangers neevr looked back. Dan Girardi and Matts Zuccarello scored in the 2nd and Derek Stepan iced the contest with a red lighter with 1.10 left in the contest lifting the Rangers to victory.

The Rangers are 3-2 on this season long 7 game homestand with contests vs Detroit and Buffalo left before heading out for 3 roadies.