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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Friday, 05.01.2015 / 1:59 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Capitals series blog

Rangers defenseman Boyle OK after hit in Game 1

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle practiced Friday after leaving the ice following Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals on Thursday with what appeared to be an injury.

Boyle said he was "dazed and confused" after Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom hit him in the corner to start the sequence that led to forward Joel Ward's game-winning goal with 1.3 seconds remaining in the third period of Washington's 2-1 victory.

"It could be a lot worse," Boyle said. "I've been a lot worse. A couple years ago I was in a much worse situation. I definitely wanted to go out there today and see how it felt. I did OK."

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said he expects Boyle to be ready to go for Game 2 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

"As far as I know I expect him to be ready," Vigneault said. "I didn't hear anything different."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Capitals series blog

Rangers' Klein returning to lineup for Game 1

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein will return to the lineup Thursday against the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

It will be Klein's first game since March 11, when, ironically, he was injured in a game against Washington.

Klein will start Game 1 with Keith Yandle on the Rangers' third defense pair. Yandle will play despite dealing with his own injury/illness that prevented him from practicing earlier this week.

"Definitely there's been an itch for a while," Klein said. "It's tough when you see the guys battling and you're not on the ice, when you're watching a lot of hockey and you like to play. That competitiveness inside you, it drives you and you want to be out there for your teammates."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:00 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - April 30, 2015

Here is the April 30 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically throughout the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Any chance Pavel Buchnevich gets signed by the Rangers to replace Mats Zuccarello. Chris Kreider 2012 all over again? -- @nyrgoal99

Nice thought, no chance.

I wouldn't expect the Rangers to bring Buchnevich in until the summer. Even if they sign him during the playoffs, they will not put him in the lineup.

In addition, the Rangers currently have 49 contracts and are in the market to sign goalie Matt O'Connor. That would put them at the 50 contract limit for this season, so that means there is no room for Buchnevich before the summer.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 4:47 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Capitals series blog

Rangers practice containing Ovechkin on power play

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Left wing Alex Ovechkin will be in the left circle on the Washington Capitals power play with his stick loaded ready to fire a one-timer. The New York Rangers know this and insist they're devising a strategy to defend against it, but will it matter?

Ovechkin scored a League-leading 25 power-play goals in the regular season, including four against the Rangers. If he has a similar rate of success in the Eastern Conference Second Round, it might be enough to catapult the Capitals into the Eastern Conference Final.

Game 1 between Washington and New York is Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"You watch teams make adjustments to him and he has the ability to get pucks through," said Rangers center Derek Stepan, who plays on New York's first penalty-kill unit. "Even if there is a guy standing next to him, even if there is a guy close to him, he has that ability. The other thing too, is if you overplay too much, they have four other guys on the ice that can capitalize.

"We'll have to make adjustments, so we'll see."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 2:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Capitals series blog

Rangers' Yandle practices, expects to play Game 1

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out Monday and Tuesday with what coach Alain Vigneault first described as overall body soreness and then joked was the sniffles.

Teams rarely reveal injuries during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so it's not a surprise Vigneault is playing coy, but the important news for the Rangers is that Yandle is preparing to play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"Yep, I feel good," Yandle said. "I'm ready to go."

Vigneault also said defenseman Kevin Klein is likely to be in the lineup Thursday provided nothing changes with his status. Klein has not played since March 11, when he sustained a broken left arm blocking a shot by Washington captain Alex Ovechkin.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 3:08 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Capitals series blog

Rangers' Yandle expected to return to practice

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle missed practice for the second straight day Tuesday. Coach Alain Vigneault joked that Yandle had the sniffles after saying Monday he had overall body soreness.

Vigneault, though, said Yandle is expected to practice Wednesday in advance of the Rangers opening their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Washington Capitals on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Yandle has not practiced with the Rangers since prior to Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. He did not miss a game.

In addition, right wing Mats Zuccarello didn't practice Tuesday and remains out indefinitely because of an upper-body injury.
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Posted On Friday, 04.24.2015 / 1:08 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers want to eliminate Penguins on first try

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers left wing Tanner Glass has an idea of what to expect from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, ROOT, MSG).

Glass was on the other side last season, when the Rangers rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the second round to beat the Penguins in seven games.

"Once we gave them Game 5 they got some momentum, got going a bit," Glass said. "We maybe weren't as hungry, didn't have that killer instinct, and allowed them to get back in the series."

The script is flipped now with the Rangers holding a 3-1 lead on the Penguins in the best-of-7 series. New York hasn't won a playoff series in five games since 2008. Five of its past six series wins have come in seven games.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 12:03 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Hayes steps up for Rangers in Game 4 win

PITTSBURGH -- Rookie center Kevin Hayes was considered an X-factor for the New York Rangers entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs because of his ability to create offense with his size and skill in a third-line role.

For three games, Hayes looked overwhelmed. He didn't on Wednesday in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring the winner 3:14 into overtime in Game 4 to give New York a 2-1 victory and a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

The Rangers can eliminate the Penguins in Game 5 Friday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, ROOT, MSG).

"This was his best game of this series," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We need him to play the way he's played for us throughout the year. Obviously this is playoff hockey and a bigger stage and he's learning how to deal with it with the help of his teammates. Tonight he scored a big goal and I'm hoping that helps his confidence."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 3:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - April 22, 2015

Here is the April 22 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically throughout the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

What are your feelings about the Columbus Blue Jackets next season? Should we be thinking playoffs next season? -- @KevinZukerman

Absolutely you should be thinking playoffs next season if you're a Blue Jackets fan. The only reason they didn't make it this season was because of all of the injuries. They even could have withstood those injuries to the skaters had goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stayed healthy.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 1:37 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers excited about chance to take 3-1 series lead

PITTSBURGH -- The New York Rangers will try to do something Wednesday that they haven't been all that good at in recent years -- take a 3-1 lead in a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series.

The Rangers lead the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in the Eastern Conference First Round heading into Game 4 on Wednesday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 2, ROOT, MSG).

New York has had the opportunity to go up 3-1 in five playoff series going back to the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals; it has lost Game 4 four times. The one time the Rangers won Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead was last year in the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens.

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday