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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 1:48 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Rangers riding consistency, depth into postseason

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Flyers have lived up to their billing as the Broad Street Bullies for decades. As the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, what exactly is the identity of the New York Rangers, who the Flyers meet Thursday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG) at Madison Square Garden?

Alain Vigneault has reshaped that identity since replacing John Tortorella as coach last summer, turning the Rangers into a team reliant on depth and chemistry at every position. That refusal to alter his lines and insistence on rolling four forward combinations and six defensemen keyed New York's run to the postseason and could be the difference against Philadelphia.

"That was the game plan in an Olympic year with having the Olympians go and the tightened schedule, especially down the stretch in March," forward Brad Richards said. "There was a reason why we were able to play good hockey, and I think that everybody was spread out and had responsibilities and we weren't [running] on fumes coming in."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 1:06 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Rangers know controlling emotions will be important

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers admitted they were already feeling the emotions that typically come with the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But it's reigning in those emotions that could prove key as they open their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH).

With intensity running high in the postseason, avoiding costly penalties is imperative to any team's success. It could be especially true against the Flyers, who led the NHL in penalty minutes this season.

If their previous games are any indication, the first Flyers-Rangers playoff series in 17 years should be a physical affair. In their four regular-season games, New York and Philadelphia combined for 231 penalty minutes. Former Flyer and current Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo drew 27 penalty minutes in two games.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 2:54 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Rangers' Staal excited to be healthy for playoff run

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- To a man, the New York Rangers are looking forward to their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With Game 1 at Madison Square Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS, TSN), defenseman Marc Staal may be itching for the opening faceoff just a little more than his teammates.

It's been some time since he last enjoyed a playoff run.

This time last year, Staal was forced to watch the Rangers in the playoffs as he recovered from an eye injury. He missed two months before returning for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals. After logging 17:17 of ice time, he was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the postseason. Just over two weeks later, New York was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Boston Bruins.

Entering this season's playoffs fully healthy and at the top of his game, Staal admits Game 1 can't come fast enough.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 2:10 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Rangers' Brassard '100 percent' for Game 1

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers center Derick Brassard declared himself healthy and ready to go for their first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round takes place Thursday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS, TSN) at Madison Square Garden.

Brassard participated in practice with the Rangers on Wednesday and left early. His status came into question Tuesday when he left New York's skate with a back injury.

"I felt good today. I could have skated for the whole practice, it was just for precautions," Brassard said. "I feel 100 percent for tomorrow."

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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 1:53 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers scratching McDonagh, Girardi, St. Louis

MONTREAL -- Defenseman Ryan McDonagh will be a healthy scratch when the New York Rangers play Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens in each team's season finale.

McDonagh declared himself ready to return from a shoulder injury after skating Saturday at Bell Centre, but coach Alain Vigneault will make him rest a few more days before returning.

After sustaining the injury April 1 against the Vancouver Canucks, McDonagh has missed the past four games. His defense partner, Dan Girardi, will also sit out with wing Martin St. Louis, who was given the day off and did not skate.

"I feel really good. The last two days especially I've been able to get my shot back even harder. Passing and skating is no issue," McDonagh said. "I told them I'd feel ready to play. You've got to respect the coach's decision. He's running the team."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 1:48 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Importance of home ice isn't lost on Rangers

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers have already clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Buffalo Sabres have already secured the NHL's worst record. But each team will still have plenty to play for when the Rangers host the Sabres on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

New York is 8-2-1 in its past 11 games and appears to be finding its stride in time for the postseason. They can also take one step closer to clinching home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a win against Buffalo. The opportunity to secure home ice is something the Rangers are not taking lightly.

"I think it's important. In the playoffs everything is so tight, it's a different animal from the regular season," forward Brad Richards said. "When you can have last change if it goes to the all-important seventh game, it's a big advantage. We're going to try our best for it."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 1:47 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers' McDonagh, Kreider skate, but not ready

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward Chris Kreider participated in the team's optional skate Tuesday but neither will play against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.

McDonagh remains day-to-day and did not shoot the puck while on the ice, indicating that his injured left shoulder is not yet ready for game action. Kreider participated in some hard skating drills but did not wear a glove over his injured left hand, which was wrapped in a cast.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said there was a 50-percent chance that McDonagh would return to action before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Rangers clinched a postseason berth after the New Jersey Devils lost 1-0 to the Calgary Flames on Monday.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 1:14 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers still without McDonagh as they go for clinch

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh remains day-to-day with a left shoulder injury and will not play when they host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

McDonagh did not participate in the Rangers morning skate, meaning that if they hope to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with one point against the Senators, they'll do it without their top defenseman.

"Guys have to play in different positions than they're used to," defenseman Marc Staal said. "Guys will have to step up and get better, and hopefully we get him back sooner than later."

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 1:47 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers forward Kreider out with hand injury

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider will not play Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers after sustaining a hand injury. He will not accompany the Rangers on their four-game road trip following the game.

Kreider sustained the injury Friday in a 3-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He had one assist in two games after that before being shut down.

The injury will be evaluated in the next few days, according to coach Alain Vigneault, who did not rule out surgery.

"We're still in the process at this time of evaluating our course of action here," Vigneault said. "We will know here in the next couple of days."

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.24.2014 / 2:10 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers' St. Louis, Stepan could be out with flu

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forwards Martin St. Louis and Derek Stepan missed practice Monday and could be out of the lineup when they host the Phoenix Coyotes at Madison Square Garden.

Right wing Derek Dorsett missed New York's 2-0 road win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday with the flu, but skated Monday and could return.

"Both those guys and Dorsett are game-time decisions," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "He [Dorsett] is feeling a little bit better. We will try and sort this out as the day moves forward."

Forward J.T. Miller was in the process of being called up from Hartford of the American Hockey League in case St. Louis, Stepan or Dorsett can't go.

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Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild