RANGERS BACK IN THE HUNT WITH 4-1 WIN. NOW TRAIL 2-GAMES-TO-1

 Game Summary                              OTT: C. Anderson (L)  NYR: H. Lundqvist (W)    Event Summary

  • WINNING WAYS – The Rangers have earned at least one win in each of their last 21 playoff series (dating back to the start of the 2007 Playoffs), which is now the longest streak in franchise history (the longest streak was previously 20 consecutive playoff series with at least one win from the Quarterfinals against Boston in 1970 to the Quarterfinals against St. Louis in 1981).
  • DOWN, BUT NOT OUT – The Rangers have won seven of the last 10 playoff games they have played when trailing in a series, dating back to Game 5 of the Second Round against Washington in 2015.
  • FOUR SCORE – Each of the Rangers’ four forward lines tallied a goal in tonight’s game, and nine different Rangers forwards notched at least one point in the contest.
  • PLAYOFF PERFORMERS – The Rangers lead the NHL in playoff games played since the start of the 2012 Playoffs (90), and the Blueshirts also lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (45). The only NHL team that has earned more playoff wins than the Rangers have over the span is Chicago (48).
  • HOME COOKINGNew York has won three of four games at MSG during the 2017 Playoffs, including each of the last three playoff contests at home. The Rangers have earned at least one win at home in 20 of their last 21 playoff series, dating back to the start of the 2007 Playoffs.
  • TWO GOOD – The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in five of the last six games and in six of nine playoff contests in 2017. In addition, the Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in each of their five playoff wins in 2017 and in 28 of their 30 playoff wins since the start of the 2014 Playoffs.
  • SHOOTING GALLERY – New York registered 30 shots on goal in tonight’s contest, as 16 of 18 skaters recorded at least one shot on goal. The Rangers have registered at least 30 shots on goal in seven of nine playoff games this year.
  • SPECIAL TEAMS – The Rangers have either won or tied their opponent in special teams scoring in eight of nine playoff games this year.
  • KILL ZONE – New York was 3-for-3 (3:51) on the penalty kill in the contest. Dating back to the regular season, the Rangers have not allowed a power play goal in 10 of their last 14 games (38-for-43; 88.4%).
  • SECOND HELPING – New York outscored Ottawa, 2-1, in the second period of tonight’s game. Through nine playoff games in 2017, the Rangers have outscored their opponents, 12-4, in the second period.

  • Mats Zuccarello registered two points (one goal, one assist) and posted a plus-two rating. He is tied for the team lead in goals in the playoffs this year (four), and he has registered five points (three goals, two assists) in the last four games, including four points (three goals, one assist) in the last two home games.
  • Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced to earn his 60th career NHL playoff win. He is the 15th goaltender in NHL history who has earned at least 60 career playoff wins, and he tied Turk Broda for 14th place on the league’s all-time playoff wins list. Lundqvist leads active NHL goaltenders in career playoff appearances (125) and career playoff wins (60).
  • Mika Zibanejad recorded an assist, led all skaters with six shots on goal, and posted a plus-two rating. He leads the Rangers in assists (six) and points (seven) in the 2017 Playoffs. Zibanejad has recorded an assist/point in four of the last five games (one goal, five assists), and he has registered seven points (one goal, six assists) in the last seven contests.

  • Alain Vigneault earned his 67th career NHL playoff win as a head coach in tonight’s game, passing Lindy Ruff for sole possession of 13th place on the league’s all-time playoff wins list among head coaches. He also earned his 30th career playoff win as the Rangers’ Head Coach in tonight’s contest, becoming the third head coach in franchise history to accomplish the feat. The only head coaches who have earned more career playoff wins with the Rangers than Vigneault has are Emile Francis (34) and Lester Patrick (32).
  • Michael Grabner tallied the game-winning goal, tied for the game-high with two takeaways, and posted a plus-one rating. Grabner is tied for the team lead in goals in the 2017 Playoffs (four), and he has recorded a goal/point in each of the last two games.
  • Rick Nash recorded a goal and tied for the game-high with two takeaways. He has registered 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in his last 18 playoff games, dating back to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay in 2015.
  • Derek Stepan notched an assist, won seven of 10 faceoffs (70.0%), and tied for the game-high with two takeaways. Stepan skated in his 94th career playoff game with the Rangers in tonight’s contest, passing Walt Tkaczuk for sole possession of third place on the franchise’s all-time playoff games played list (among skaters). Stepan has now played more playoff games with the Rangers than any other forward in franchise history. The only skaters who have played more playoff games with the Rangers than Stepan has are Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, and the only three players who have appeared in more career playoff games with the Blueshirts than Stepan are Girardi, Staal, and Henrik Lundqvist. He tallied his 47th career playoff point with the Rangers in tonight’s contest, tying Ron Duguay for eighth place on the franchise’s all-time playoff points list.
  • Oscar Lindberg tallied his first career NHL playoff goal, was credited with three hits, recorded two blocked shots, and posted a plus-one rating.
  • Dan Girardi notched an assist, tied for the game-high with four hits, and posted a plus-one rating in 20:00 of ice time. He tallied his 27th career playoff assist and 33rd career playoff point with the Rangers. He passed James Patrick for sole possession of fifth place on the Rangers’ all-time playoff assists list among defensemen, and he passed Barry Beck for sole possession of fifth place on the franchise’s all-time playoff points list among defensemen.
  • Jimmy Vesey registered an assist and tied for the game-high with two takeaways. Vesey ranks third on the Rangers in assists in the playoffs this year (three).
  • J.T. Miller notched an assist and posted a plus-one rating. Miller has tallied an assist/point in two of the Rangers’ last four games, including each of the team’s last two home games.
  • Tanner Glass recorded an assist, was credited with three hits and posted a plus-one rating in 10:00 of ice time. Glass has recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in four playoff games this year.
  • Ryan McDonagh skated in his 93rd career playoff game with the Rangers in tonight’s contest, tying Walt Tkaczuk for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time playoff games played list (among skaters).
  • Chris Kreider skated in his 74th career playoff game with the Rangers in tonight’s contest, passing Carl Hagelin for sole possession of 10th place on the franchise’s all-time playoff games played list (among skaters).

On tonight’s game…

“There’s no doubt that we played a strong game. Like I said prior to this game, I like the six periods also that we played in Ottawa. We came home, we were able to score a couple, get early pace, and win the game.” 

Ongoing from Game 2 to Game 3…

“I think the extra day off was very beneficial for us, both mentally and physically. I felt that we played well in Ottawa. We probably deserved better. That’s part of hockey. There’s no doubt that we had to bounce back tonight. We were able to get a good practice in yesterday and focus on our process and what we had to do. That’s what we did, we came to play. We won this game, now we’re going to focus on the next one.” 

On J.T. Miller’s play on the fourth goal…

“It was a great play. He made a couple good plays tonight, not only on that goal but in our zone to get the puck out on a couple of occasions. They’re a team that pressures real hard and don’t give you a lot of space and time to make plays, so you have to be able to see what’s there and make the play in front of you. I thought he did a good job tonight.”

On tonight’s game…

“The game was lost in the first period. They were ready, they were hungry, they were desperate and we didn’t match that at all, that’s it. I wasn’t surprised with how hard they came out. I’ve been saying it for the past two days, we’ve talked about it with the players but like I always say, you can talk about it as much as you want, about urgency but to create it superficially it is very difficult. I think our players knew but to know and to feel is two different things and when you look at the teams that were leading 2-0, the same thing happened to all three teams and the reason is very simple, you have a team that doesn’t want to be down 3-0 and the fear, desperation, and urgency that comes with it certainly was the story in the first period. We weren’t desperate and when they are desperate and you aren’t, you have no chance.”

On Anderson being ready…

“No, it’s the opponent being quicker at everything, that’s it. We let that first goal in, that’s clearly the guys along the slots in there and we rarely let that happen with us – that’s just not being aware. They were quick, they were fast and we were behind on everything. Behind on our thinking, behind on our execution, behind on our physicality, behind on everything.”

On the importance of tonight’s game…

“We played a solid first period and we came out strong. I think that we set the tone right away. I don’t think we played our best hockey in the second and the third. We have to improve on that, but we had a really good first period. We came out strong and that was good to see.” 

On the play to set up Michael Grabner’s goal…

“I was just trying to get it deep. It was a lucky play and a good job by him, reading it and stealing the puck there. I think we played well as a team. I thought our defensemen blocked shots and we moved the puck quickly. I think that’s key for us when we play with speed.”

On the message, tonight’s win sends to Ottawa…

“I think most importantly it’s for ourselves to get back in the series here.  It was a big game for us, no question.  The day after we went home from Ottawa, it was a tough day. I think we felt like we played well enough to at least get one win.  It was actually really good to get an extra day to kind of get away from everything and regroup and then yesterday we prepared for this game.  I think everybody understood the importance of this one and we came out in the first period and set the tone.  There is no question, I think, that we were the better team tonight.  We played with speed, emotion, and determination.  And we got it done, and it was great to see.” 

On the first period setting the tone for the rest of the game…

“Obviously it gave us confidence.  We had some good meetings the last couple of days, talked about the good things we’ve been doing.  Even though we haven’t gotten the wins, we’ve been doing a lot of good things.  It was something we continued doing tonight and we adjusted a couple of things that I thought worked really well tonight.  But of course, the first period is important, in such an important game.  You go out there and you build your game, get the crowd into it, get yourself into it.  It was a good feeling to pull this one off.” 

On how the team handled Ottawa’s surges…

“We didn’t give up that much; it felt like we were in control for the most part and played a really smart game.  It felt like they had some good bounces going their way up in Ottawa.   We always talk about how you earn them, but tonight we made sure that if they were going to get anything, they had to earn it by working really hard.  I think everybody felt like we played a really strong game when we needed it the most here.”

On dictating the play from the start of the game…

“We always talk about our starts being key. I really did like what we did in Ottawa; we just came out on the wrong end of it. We knew that tonight was a big game to get the series back to 2-1.” 

On coming back to play at home…

“It was an emotional loss. You never want to lose a game, especially one that’s in double overtime, but our group was confident in sticking with our messages. It’s a race to four. We knew that tonight we had to come out with a good start and we had to play 60 minutes strong and I thought, for the most part, we were real solid.” 

On the play in the first period…

“We always talk about how it’s important to have good starts and our group understands the importance of getting it back to 2-1. The best way to do it is to have a good start.” 

On coming back after a loss…

“We always talk about adjustments through a series, and every series is no different. You have to make your adjustments and clean up things that you feel you can do better in the next one. We’ll do the next thing after this game. We’ll look to figure out what we did and how we had success and what we did that didn’t give us success. We’ll clean that up and get ourselves ready for game 4.”

  • Rick Nash, New York Rangers forward

On what tonight’s win says about the team…

“It says that we can erase an emotional loss.  We had that extra day and it was a goal to put it behind us and move on, and we did that.” 

On all four lines scoring…

“That’s huge, especially in the playoffs you need every line kind of going.  Tonight we had that and it was obviously a difference maker.” 

On how the team responds well when they are down in a series…

“Obviously we don’t want to be down, but in a series, there are momentum swings.  They had the momentum coming into tonight, but we had a good effort.  We are still down, so the next game is even that much of a bigger deal.”

  • Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators defenseman

On tonight’s start…

“They obviously played with a lot more desperation than we did come the start of the game.  We just couldn’t catch up at the end of the day.  They started better and that’s why they won this game.  I don’t think the way the game ended – they were playing a little passive – so we can’t really take that into consideration.  But overall it wasn’t a great performance from our team today.  Unfortunately, that’s the way it is sometimes.  Again we are still up 2-1; we are happy with that and we’ve got to move on.  We are going to take the good parts from this game and try to figure out the stuff that we weren’t doing good enough.”

On whether the team was surprised by the Rangers push tonight…

“No, I think that we talked enough about it.  We tried to prepare for it and somehow we just couldn’t find a way to execute it the way that we wanted to.  Again, credit them, they came out stronger than we did. They put the pucks in the net when they got the chances and we just couldn’t find a way to get going and get the creativity that we wanted to be successful.  Again, it’s going to happen.  We are just going to have to find a way to break out of it as soon as possible and again we are happy with where we are at.  We know what we have to do to be successful and that’s what we’re going to focus on.  It’s going to be a good game on Thursday.”

  • Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators goaltender

On the team’s performance …

“It wasn’t what we wanted tonight.  At the end of the day, it wasn’t good enough as a group and we learn from that and move forward.” 

On how the Rangers started the game …

“They came out desperate.  They were good in the first and had momentum.  They had a really good first period and put us on our heels and we dug ourselves a pretty deep hole to try and get out of.”

On the inability to build momentum in the second period …

“They were good right off the bat.  When we started to get our legs they got a couple of good chances and they made good on a couple of chances in the second.  That kind of took the wind out of our sails preventing any kind of momentum we generated in the second.”

  • Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 3): Practice, 12:00 p.m. at Madison Square Garden
  • Next Game: Thursday, May 4 vs. Ottawa (Game 4); 7:30 p.m. ET – TV: NBCSN

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