Things to know: Rangers-Devils, Game 4

Zach Parise is offensive: The Devils winger and captain found his range and can now stop answering questions about why he hasn't scored. The guy is dragging his team deeper and deeper into the playoffs, and making it tougher for him not to be re-signed by the Devils in the summer. And I wrote that before he scored his no-look empty-netter.

Wait, what was that all of a sudden? It had been so long since there was playoff ugliness that it made you forget how brutal the opening round was for shenanigans. Mike Rupp's drive-by, twitch-flick left arm to Martin Brodeur after the whistle was, ahem, a throwback. Who did Rupp think he was with such a bush move? Matt Carkner?

The new doghouse: Marian Gaborik was moved from the doghouse to make room for puck-moving defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who sat on the bench for much of the second after some boneheaded giveaways and general waving-stick-checking in the first.

You know what happens when you assume: Sure, but if the Rangers and Devils go seven -- as has been the Rangers' tendency in these playoffs and looks good as of this writing -- the Kings will be favored come the Stanley Cup finals. Not that the Coyotes are going to be eliminated Tuesday night, because that would be assuming. And not only is assuming rude, but it's also bad journalistic practice. But, still.

Imitation, flattery, etc.: It seems like when the Rangers are beaten in these playoffs, it's by teams that adapt a form of their strategy. In the first round, it was when the Senators got physical and pushed back as hard as the Rangers were pushing. In the second round, it was when the Capitals committed to blocking shots, usually the Rangers' domain. On Monday night, in Game 4, the Devils took the battle to the front of the net, like the Rangers had been doing in previous outings.