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Tortorella: 'We're not a tired hockey club'

By Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

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Tortorella: 'We're not a tired hockey club'
Despite playing this far into the season, Rangers' coach John Tortorella is positive his team is ready and in shape for the long haul.

NEW YORK -- Did John Tortorella expect the Rangers to be tired after concluding their second straight seven-game series two nights ago?

"I don't know where you guys get all this stuff being tired. If we're tired this time of the year, there's something the matter," Tortorella said. "We still have a month to play. You might as well not even ask me questions about being tired. We're not a tired hockey club. We are ready to play."

The Rangers showed plenty of freshness in their 3-0 win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. After two scoreless periods, the Rangers scored all three of their goals in the final 20 minutes and held the Devils to just four shots in the period.

"There's no excuse to be tired and that doesn't matter to us," said Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi, who scored the game-winner 53 seconds into the third. "It might be better for us to come back and play another game instead of sitting around trying to think about it. They came out hard and fresh and I thought we did a good job of trying to match their intensity. I thought we had a good third period and got the job done."

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We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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