Smashmouth hockey: Rangers’ Derek Stepan connects with an elbow to the jaw of Devils’ Travis Zajac.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images
So we’ll play six, at least, in an Eastern Conference final that gets a little uglier by the game.
The New Jersey Devils clawed, scratched and banged their way back into their series against the New York Rangers, the Devils’ 4-1 win Monday night squaring the best-of-seven set at 2-2 with Game 5 back in New York on Wednesday.
Monday’s game at the Prudential Center featured Rangers’ Mike Rupp taking a gloved punch at the chest of Devils’ goalie Marty Brodeur and both coaches – Peter DeBoer of New Jersey and John Tortorella of New York – leaning over the boards to give what-for at each other. Both men wouldn’t address the exchange after the game, and in-game rinkside reporters Pierre McGuire of NBC and Glenn Healy of Hockey Night in Canada unhelpfully muted their microphones as the insults flew back and forth in front of them.
• Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Kings have one more chance to eliminate the Phoenix Coyotes, up 3-1 heading into Game 5 in Glendale, Ariz.