- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Tension continues to escalate in the Eastern Conference finals, but Devils star Zach Parise doesn't expect the animosity between New Jersey and the New York Rangers to boil over through the rest of the series.
"I don't expect it to be a dirty series by any means going forward," Parise said during a Tuesday conference call with reporters.
During the third period of the Devils' 4-1 Game 4 victory Monday at Prudential Center, Devils coach Peter DeBoer and Rangers coach John Tortorella got into a shouting match from their respective benches following a melee in front of the net in which Rangers forward Mike Rupp punched Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.
"Of course it really made us mad," Parise said Tuesday on ESPN New York's "The Michael Kay Show." "It's a pretty dirty play when you're going after a goalie.
"But I think that was more indicative of the score of the game and everything, and I don't think that anyone's gonna take any liberties or take stupid penalties at the beginning of the next game or the beginning of any games, because you don't want to put your team in jeopardy at this time of year."
Said DeBoer: "I took offense to what happened on the ice, and that was my outlet, right or wrong."
But, like Parise, DeBoer expects all of the extracurricular activity to be over and done with.
"I don't anticipate any more of that," DeBoer said. "I think the stakes are too high going forward."
Game 5 is Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The best-of-seven series is tied at 2.
DeBoer, in his first season as the Devils' coach, was asked if the rivalry was more heated than he expected.
"No, I think it's exactly what I heard it was and what I anticipated it to be," he said.
Just as he has throughout the playoffs, DeBoer plans to remind his team to stay disciplined and out of the penalty box.
"That's a daily reminder for us," DeBoer said.
Brodeur said he was fine after taking the punch in the chest from Rupp, who happens to be an ex-teammate.
Brodeur appreciated how agitated DeBoer was at Tortorella after the incident.
"He's got a fire, no doubt," Brodeur said.
Added Travis Zajac: "He's an emotional guy. He wants to win, just like us. It rubs off on us, seeing how much he cares about the players on his team and us having success. It makes us feel good."
Mike Mazzeo is a special contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
18hDanny Knobler, Special to ESPN.com