Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/27/12 at 08:13 AM ET
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
The Rangers and Senators played to win Thursday night – not just not to lose – before the raucous, chanting fans at MSG. They skated hard, fast. Up and down. Back and forth.
A blocked shot here, a couple of goals from unlikely heroes there, a scramble to survive a final Ottawa onslaught – that was the difference.
“I’ve played some pretty cool home games, but nothing compares to that,” said Rangers rookie Chris Kreider, looking through the fresh eyes of a 20-year-old who won an NCAA title with Boston College just a couple of weeks ago. “It was just surreal. You can feel it build, as the end kind of draws near. You might be tired, but you can’t tell.”
Before faceoff, some of the Rangers’ veterans tried to teach their young teammates about Game 7. Forward Mike Rupp talked about the little plays that become big plays. Then the Rangers went out and made them.
Kreider made a little/big play when he came across the ice, hit Nick Foligno along the wall and forced a turnover early in the second period. Ryan Callahan grabbed the puck and took a hit. Derek Stepan grabbed the puck and made a pass. Defenseman Marc Staal, who missed the first half of the season with a concussion, who had scored only two goals in 52 games, slapped the puck into a gaping net.
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