It all leads to this, the hard work, effort, blood, sweat, tears-now finds the New York Rangers taking on the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals. The last time the rivals met was in 1994, the year that the Blueshirts last got to the Stanley Cup.
Fans of the Rangers’ must feel like it is 1994 again, as the guys have been playing with a ton of grit and heart in the Playoffs. New York entered the game with the caps ranking second in the NHL with 248 blocked shots in the playoffs.
Leading the charge thus far has been Dan Girardi (44) and Ryan McDonagh (36), who rank first and third in the league respectively. The Rangers have also been extremely physical in the playoffs leading the league with 453 hits, paced by captain Ryan Callahan (62).
New York continued an interesting statistical trend in this game, as the team that has scored the first goal in the game in the series is undefeated. The Rangers have tallied the game’s first goal in eight games during the playoffs, and was able to accomplish the feat again tonight.
Helping to lead the charge offensively was Brad Richards, who has come up big all series long for New York. The center has tallied 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in the last 11 playoff games in which his team faced elimination.
Richards also had the game-tying goal for the Rangers in Game Five, as the guys have beaten the buzzer on numerous occasions, but has not made any game-or series without leaving their fans without grey hairs. New York was able to win 11 of their 13 playoff games by one goal, including the four that were decided in overtime.
Recording a goal and an assist in the game was Michael Del Zotto, as the defense has done a tremendous job in being active thus far. Del Zotto has now tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last nine games.
Tallying two assists was rookie Carl Hagelin, who continues to impress with his tremendous speed. Winger Marian Gaborik also recorded an assist, and now has seven points (three goals, four assists) over the six of the last seven games.
Now it all comes down to this, all the blood, sweat and tears lead to a Monday night face-off with the New Jersey Devils….and maybe another chance to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup.