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Category: New-York-Rangers

From Both Sides Of Game 7 Rangers/Capitals

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Stephane Matteau was in the house because, well, of course he was for a Game 7 on Broadway, and of course this winner-take-all between the Rangers and Caps would go to overtime.

Twenty-one years later, 21 years after the last time the Rangers played an OT Game 7, a new hero etched his name in franchise lore, and it was No. 21, Derek Stepan who put an end to this second round by burying a rebound at 11:24 to propel his team to a 2-1 victory Wednesday.

“Individually, it’s a really cool moment for me,” Stepan told The Post minutes after his shot was heard ’round the hockey world. “But it’s also really cool just to be part of this group.”

This group — these Rangers — are now the first team in NHL history to overcome 3-1 series deficits in back-to-back-years, duplicating their Round 2 feat against Pittsburgh a year ago with this charge out of that hole that germinated with last Friday’s Game 5 victory in which Stepan first set up Chris Kreider’s tying goal with 101 seconds remaining in regulation and then spoon fed Ryan McDonagh for the winner in OT.

Those were big moments for No. 21, who hadn’t been able to elevate his game and put the same kind of offensive-zone stamp on the game in the playoffs that he had for so much of his five-year career.

continued

from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,

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The New York Rangers Advance To The Eastern Conference Finals

With their 2-1 OT win over the Washington Capitals tonight, the Rangers move on and will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.

added 11:03pm,  Derek Stepan's OT goal is below...

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  Tags: derek+stepan

Video- Ready For Game 7, Rangers/Capitals?

Buckle up!

 

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The New York Rangers Are Ready For Game 7

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

So here we are for the third time in the last two years and the sixth time in the last four springs. Here we are at Game 7.

Here we are at Rangers Time.

But what we’ll get from the Blueshirts in Wednesday’s winner-take-all showdown against the Capitals is what we’ll see on the Garden ice, and not what we’ll hear leading up to the match.

For though the Rangers are confident as they seek to extend their season and their Game 7 record to 6-0 since 2012 (and 3-0 in that span against Washington), there is neither bombast nor the need to verbally respond to Alex Ovechkin’s post-Game 6 remarks in which he foretold a Caps victory.

“You’re not going to get any guarantees coming out of this room,” Chris Kreider told The Post after Tuesday’s practice. “That’s not our style.”

The style, which took root before Alain Vigneault took over behind the bench last year but which perfectly suits the coach, is low-key. No one in the room feels compelled to stir the drink.

continued

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History Favors The New York Rangers In Game 7

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun at the Toronto Sun,

 If history counts for anything, the New York Rangers will soon be on their way to the Eastern Conference final.

Owners of a stunning 13-3 record in elimination games since 2012, the Blueshirts have played five Game 7s over that stretch.

They’ve won them all.

Oh, and they are also a perfect 6-0 in Game 7s at Madison Square Garden all-time.

“There’s no doubt I have a lot of confidence in this group’s individual preparation and the team’s preparation,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said on a conference call with reporters Monday, a day in which both teams rested and stayed clear of the rink. “This group has done it many times, in many important moments, and hopefully we’ll be able to continue to do it.

“There’s no doubt experience, and positive experience, helps in the preparation and your mental state. There’s still a lot of individual work that needs to go into getting yourself ready, and they need to do that Wednesday.”

continued

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The New York Rangers Force Game 7

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

No team in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs has ever come back from 3-1 deficits to win best-of-sevens in back to back seasons.

But now, the Rangers get the chance to make that history. The Rangers get to try to pull off the Houdini escape act they pulled last year against Pittsburgh in Round 2 again on Wednesday, when they will play Game 7 against the Caps at the Garden.

They have made it this far, have made it back to Game 7 in the wake of Sunday’s 4-3 victory here in which Henrik Lundqvist’s spectacular 42-save performance prevented the sky from falling on the Blueshirts, who nearly conspired to blow an early 4-1 period lead.

But they did not blow the lead. They would not go down. Lundqvist would not allow it.

Now, it is the day after tomorrow that is another day.

Wednesday.

Game 7. A chance to make history.

A chance to survive.

“I’m exhausted,” Lundqvist, his face bearing a sheen of sweat under a Broadway Hat appearing as battered as the goaltender, said after surviving an onslaught over the final 15:35 after his team took a three-goal lead.

continued

from Katie Strang of ESPN,

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The Balanced New York Rangers

from Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight,

... the Rangers are one of the most balanced great teams ever — the hockey equivalent of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs or the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons. The second-most-balanced team was the 2003-04 Detroit Red Wings, although they were something of an unusual case, with a combination of rising stars (Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg) and waning ones (Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan).

The list of the most star-dominated teams will come as no surprise. It includes Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers, Mario Lemieux’s Pittsburgh Penguins, and the early 1970s Boston Bruins, led by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito. (The 1973-74 Bruins have the top slot; 64 percent of their point shares come from their top line.) The 1993-94 Rangers, who won both the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup, also had a top-heavy roster, with Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov.

Unfortunately for the Rangers, neither the star-dominated nor the well-balanced Presidents’ Trophy winners have had all that high a success rate at turning regular-season success into a Stanley Cup. So they’ll have to find a few more heroes to survive against Washington and bring the Stanley Cup back to New York.

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The Washington Capitals Need A Hero

from Michael Traikos at the National Post,

You need players of all shapes and sizes and salary structures to make contributions in the playoffs. As Trotz continues to say during this post-season, “we’re looking for a new hero every night.” And yet, every year, the same cliché rings true: you only go as far as your best players will take you.

In Games 1 and 2, Ovechkin was a monster in Manhattan. He terrorized the city like he was King Kong, scoring twice on goals that had even New York fans shaking their heads at in disbelief, and setting up a game-winner right before the buzzer. But since then, the Rangers defence has tamed him.

Ovechkin, who has 11 shots in the past three games, has not exactly been invisible. Far from it, actually. Every time he is on the ice, like when he uncorked a wrist shot that handcuffed Lundqvist on Friday night, there is the possibility that something special will happen, that he will change the course of the game with a get-them-out-of-their-seats goal.

“He’s been dangerous the whole series,” said Rangers centre Derek Stepan. “He’s been really good for them. His two goals in Games 1 and 2 were something that we have to try to continue to limit, because he’s going to get his looks.”

Ovechkin is getting his looks. But with no points in Games 3, 4 and 5, he is starting to mirror the performance he had two years ago against the Rangers, where he stormed out of the gates with a goal and an assist in Games 1 and 2, and then went missing in action as the Capitals were shutout in Games 6 and 7.

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The New York Rangers Need A Road Win

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

There’s no less desperation. There can’t be when the Rangers have their backs against the wall yet again, and will continue to be staring the offseason in the face unless they can wrangle out two more consecutive wins.

Game 6 of this second-round series against the Capitals is Sunday night at Verizon Center, and the Blueshirts still are down in the best-of-seven, 3-2. But there is less frustration boiling inside their locker room following Friday’s miraculous 2-1 overtime win in Game 5 at the Garden, when they trailed 1-0 until Chris Kreider scored with 1:41 remaining in the third period and Ryan McDonagh won it 9:37 into the extra period.

“I think the way we won, certainly isn’t ideal,” alternate captain Derek Stepan said on Saturday afternoon at the team’s D.C. hotel, having the day off practice. “We just have to continue to find ways to score goals and continue to find ways to create offense.”

That has been the theme of this series: The Capitals have thwarted the Rangers’ potent offense, third-best in the league during the regular season, limiting them to seven goals through the first five games. Part of that has been the outstanding play of Washington goalie Braden Holtby, as well as the Capitals’ defensemen crowding shooting lanes and blocking shots by the bushel.

The Rangers struggled to cope with all of their terrific scoring opportunities going for naught. It’s not as if they had played bad hockey in going down 3-1, but they were not being rewarded, creating a built-up frustration.

continued

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The New York Rangers Are Still Breathing

from Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post,

These aren’t hockey games any longer, but something else entirely, something more visceral, something more vicious, something more exhausting. These are endless sessions on a treadmill with the speed on 12 and the grade on 5. These are water-polo wrestling matches, hard on the stomach, harder on the lungs, hardest on the heart.

In March, in the one-and-done NCAA Tournament, we often hear that old chestnut Jimmy Valvano dreamed up years ago: survive and advance. In March, in the NCAAs, that’s supposed to be a metaphor.

In May, in these NHL playoffs, as far as the Rangers are concerned?

It may not be literal.

But it sure seems literal.

And so it was that a stuffed Madison Square Garden learned to breathe again a few minutes past 10 o’clock Friday night. Nine minutes and 37 seconds into overtime, maybe half an hour after the Rangers appeared ready to lie in state, they were instead exploding off their bench, rushing toward Ryan McDonagh, speeding toward Sunday night.

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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