NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - When the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils play in the postseason, Martin Brodeur feels the series goes from a rivalry to another level.
``You go through playoff series and people forget about them,'' Brodeur said Monday. ``Nobody forgets about a Rangers-Devils series. It's demanding. Every where you go, people talk about it, but it's fun. It's a piece of history when you play the Rangers.''
In two days, Brodeur will start his fifth series against the Rangers - he's been a part of every one in Devils history.
In 1992, he was a 19-year-old who had just played four regular-season games when he relieved Chris Terreri in the second period of Game 5, giving up three goals in an 8-5 loss.
``I was just part of it from the outside,'' Brodeur said. ``I didn't know the players that much. I just sat on the outside.''
His lasting memory of the series won by New York in seven games was a 1992 brawl in which he was paired against Rangers enforcer Joey Kocur - the only time he was clearly at a disadvantage against New York.
Two years later, the Rangers and Devils played one of hockey's most memorable playoff series. New York's Stephane Matteau scored on a wraparound in double overtime of Game 7 for a 2-1 win.
``To this day I still hear his name from Rangers' fans,'' Brodeur said. ``It's part of history. It was a big goal.''
The series also featured Mark Messier's famous ``guarantee'' of a Rangers' win in Game 6 in New Jersey. New York went on to win its first Stanley Cup since 1940.
While he calls the series loss one of the most disappointing in his career - ranking with the Game 7 loss to Colorado in the Stanley Cup finals in 2001, Brodeur said it helped the Devils.
``The following year we won the Stanley Cup,'' Brodeur said. ``That series had a lot to do with the success of this franchise. You have to go through some adversity to be able to be successful. That series even though I didn't win it I learned a lot, how to handle myself in the playoffs. We learned a lot from losing to these guys.''
The Rangers continued their playoff domination against the Devils two years later, eliminating New Jersey in the conference semifinals in five games. Coincidentally, Adam Graves scored the series winner on a wraparound goal in overtime.
The Devils won their first postseason series against the Rangers two years ago, sweeping a first-round meeting.
``That was the relief, beating these guys and knowing we could do it,'' Brodeur said.
The downside was the Devils had a letdown in the second round and were ousted by Carolina.
``Hopefully, we'll learn how to cope with that emotion if we move on,'' Brodeur said.
The current series reminds Brodeur of 1994. The Rangers beat the Devils every game during the regular season, and most were not close.
The Rangers were 7-0-1 record against the Devils this season, but Brodeur is quick to point out that New York won three in either overtime or a shootout.
Brodeur admits that Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been the difference.
``I still have to go out and perform,'' Brodeur said. ``It's all about the Devils and the Rangers. It's not about me and him. We are a big part of our teams, but you can't do it by yourself.''

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