Eighteen years ago, Mark Messier set the stage for one of sports' most dramatic moments.
On the eve of the New York Rangers' must-win Game 6 against the Devils in New Jersey in the 1994 Eastern Conference finals, Messier guaranteed his team would force a deciding contest back at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers not only won, Messier backed up his boast with a hat trick.
Fast forward to now. The teams once more head to a Game 6, in New Jersey, with the Rangers - again the East's top team - down 3-2, needing a win to stay alive.
That's where the similarity ends.
There is no Messier in the Rangers' locker room to will his team to victory after predicting it. And this time, New York really isn't the star-laden team that ended the franchise's half-century Stanley Cup drought back in 1994.
The Devils have shown repeatedly in this best-of-seven series they are just as good as their long-time, cross-river rivals. Their series lead is well deserve...