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Rangers' approach to Game 7: 'Just go out and play'

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 1:40 PM

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

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Rangers-Flyers series blog
Rangers' approach to Game 7: 'Just go out and play'

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers have plenty of big-game experience to draw on heading into Game 7 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN2, MSG, CSN-PHI).

If their recent success in winner-take-all games has taught the Rangers anything, it's that experience won't necessarily matter.

"You've just got to go out and play. You can't overthink, you can't overanalyze," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "They know us well, we know them well. They're going to go out and play, we're going to go out and play."

Vigneault coached in three Game 7s with the Vancouver Canucks, including a 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. But the coach's big-game experience is dwarfed by that of his players, many of whom were on the New York teams that won three Game 7s in the past two years. Forward Martin St. Louis isn't one of them, but the high-scoring wing has a 3-1 record in Game 7s, including a Cup-clinching win in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"You need to have a lot of energy channeled in the right direction. Mentally you have to be calm and composed and play your game. Every shift is so important, you have to play with a lot of desperation," St. Louis said. "Every series is different, every year is different. I've enjoyed the Game 7s. I'll try to go out there and have fun and help my team win."

In a series that has seen Philadelphia and New York trade wins back and forth through the first six games, the Rangers said they have moved past their 5-2 loss in Game 6 on Tuesday. They'll look to revive a power play that has gone without a goal in its past 20 attempts. One thing is for certain: Everyone involved should be ready to go.

"There's no other feeling in your life that is going to duplicate what a day like this is and what it means when you win on home ice in a Game 7," said forward Brad Richards, who will be suiting up for his sixth. "To do it in Game 7 in front of your home crowd, these opportunities only come around so often. That's what we mean by embracing it. There's going to be a day where this whole team is retired and sitting back wishing we had another day like this. This is the greatest thing about what we do."

Neither team practiced Wednesday, although Rangers forward Chris Kreider skated as he recovers from a hand injury.

Here are the projected lineups:

FLYERS

Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Scott Hartnell - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds

Jason Akeson - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Zac Rinaldo - Vincent Lecavalier - Adam Hall

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn

Mark Streit - Andrew MacDonald

Erik Gustafsson - Luke Schenn

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Jay Rosehill, Tye McGinn, Hal Gill, Chris VandeVelde, Calvin Heeter

Injured: Steve Downie (upper body), Nicklas Grossmann (lower body)

RANGERS

Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Martin St. Louis

Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - J.T. Miller

Dominic Moore - Brian Boyle - Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Jesper Fast, Daniel Carcillo, Raphael Diaz, Justin Falk, Ryan Haggerty

Injured: Chris Kreider (hand)

Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players