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Rangers vs Devils - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Rangers ready to face rival Devils in East Finals

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

In their final meeting of the regular season at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers and Devils took their bitter rivalry to another level.

Three seconds after the puck was dropped, a brawl erupted with the Rangers' Brandon Prust, Mike Rupp and Stu Bickel fighting the Devils' Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton and Ryan Carter, respectively, in a contest that yielded 56 penalty minutes. Bickel took the ice in that game at his usual position of defenseman, but moved up to take the opening faceoff in order to drop the gloves with Carter.

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal started Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Washington Capitals Saturday, a 2-1 Rangers' victory that set up a conference finals matchup with the Devils that gets started Monday night in New York. Can Staal, who has two fighting majors in five seasons, imagine himself taking part in a six-man rumble in Game 1 against the Devils?

"I doubt it," Staal said with a laugh. "It's a little different in the playoffs, so I don't think that's going to happen."

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Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

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