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2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: The New York Rangers And New Jersey Devils Get Going This Week

It's finally that time of year in the NHL. The 82-game regular season has come to a close and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us after six months of jockeying for position.

The New York Rangers have put themselves at the top of the Eastern Conference, taking home ice advantage for the first time since 1996 in a series.

John Tortorella's group finished with 109 points and will now play the Ottawa Senators, a team the Rangers actually lost to three out of four times this year. New York should still be the heavy favorite, but don't discount the pesky Senators, who most expected to be among the conference's cellar-dwellers at the beginning of the campaign.

For a complete look at the Rangers first round schedule, click here.

The New Jersey Devils are a different story altogether.

Behind the dynamic duo of Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise, New Jersey accumulated 102 points which was only good enough for fourth place, in the Atlantic Division.

The sixth-seeded Devils will start the postseason against the Florida Panthers, who have been brutal down the stretch but hung on to the Southeast crown. Nobody is more favored going into their match-up than New Jersey.

For a complete look at the Devils first round schedule, click here.

For more coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, be sure to check out our blogs Blueshirt Banter and In Lou We Trust. Also take a peek at our StoryStream and SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.