(NEWARK, N.J.) — The New Jersey Devils are one win away from another trip to the Stanley Cup. If they are able to close out the New York Rangers tonight at the Prudential Center, it will be their first visit to the finals since 2003.
18 years ago today, Rangers captain Mark Messier guaranteed that New York would beat the Devils in seven games during their Eastern Conference matchup in 1994.
Rangers fans are hoping this 2012 playoff run repeats itself as well, the Rangers have won each round in seven games, but Rangers coach John Tortorella isn’t relying on any mystique.
“Not for a second” does that ’94 series come into play for the Rangers, Tortorella said Thursday. “Not to disrespect what happened there but that has nothing to do with how we’re preparing. I think it’s the best way to put it.”
Devils goalie Martin Brodeur was on goal that night in 1994.
“I don’t see anything that is similar,” Brodeur said via conference call Thursday. “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.”
There have been no guarantees from current Rangers captain Ryan Callahan just yet. If the Rangers are able to pull off the win, game 7 would be Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Puck drops tonight at 8 P.M. Eastern in New Jersey.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire