THIS DAY IN NY SPORTS HISTORY
Sunday, April 3, 1988
Rangers' playoff hopes crash as Devils win
On the last night of the regular season, with the Rangers and Devils tied for the last playoff spot in the conference, the Rangers scored three third-period goals to beat the Quebec Nordiques, 3-0, at the Garden. But the Devils, needing a win to earn their first playoff berth since moving to New Jersey, edged the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3, in overtime on John MacLean's goal at 2:21. The Devils had finished the season with a 7-0-1 spurt to catch the Rangers, who went 8-3-2 to close. The Devils' run included a 7-2 win over the Rangers on March 27. Both teams finished with 82 points, but the Devil's 38-36-6 record gave them the edge. The Rangers, at 36-34-10, were fifth in the Patrick Division and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.