The Devils and Rangers have played each other five times over the last three months, with game No. 6 going tonight at Madison Square Garden.
And — as the old saying goes — familiarity has bred contempt.
That’s the message from New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer as his troops look to beat the Blueshirts for the fourth time this season.
“I think there’s a genuine dislike there,” DeBoer told the Star-Ledger about how his team feels about the Rangers. “And that all adds to the environment.”
“The environment, I think, it will be a welcome emotional boost for us to be ready to play. I think it’s great for hockey and for this time of year.”
There’s no shortage of rivalries heading into tonight’s affair.
David Clarkson and Brandon Dubinsky don’t like each other:
Cam Janssen and Mike Rupp don’t like each other:
Brandon Prust and Eric Boulton don’t like each other:
All of which explains why there have been 16 fighting majors over the course of the season series.
“It’s a motivated game, heightened intensity and that’s the same from their side,” Patrik Elias said. “We know where they’re at in the standings and we’re still trying to buckle down on our game.
“It should be exciting.”