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Capitals vs Rangers

(Page 5 of 5)
Capitals vs Rangers - 2013 SCP Conference Quarterfinals

Why the Rangers will win the Stanley Cup

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

If the Los Angeles Kings did it last year, the New York Rangers can this year.

That's the Rangers' rallying cry, right? It should be. There's reason to believe in it. It actually makes a lot of sense.

The Rangers battled their own inconsistent play all season, much in the same way the Kings did last season. Both were considered locks for the Stanley Cup Playoffs before the season started but didn't clinch until the regular season was down to few days remaining.

The Kings made it as the eighth seed in the Western Conference with 95 points in 82 games; the Rangers got in this season with 56 points in 48 games, qualifying as one of the final three teams in the East during the week's final season. The points-per-game average between the teams was almost identical, as well.

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Five Questions: Rangers rely on Richards, power play

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

When the New York Rangers marched into the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they were the top seed in the Eastern Conference and a popular pick to raise the Cup when June rolled around.

Things are different this season for the Rangers, who used a strong finish to the regular season to sneak into the playoffs. They won't be hot choice to win the Stanley Cup in 2013, but they have the components to put together 16 wins.

Henrik Lundqvist
Goalie - NYR
RECORD: 24-16-3
GAA: 2.05 | SVP: 0.926
How can the Rangers make their run? They'll need to answer these five questions in the affirmative:


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X-Factor: Staal's return would bolster Rangers' D

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

The fortunes of the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs may hinge on a player who hasn't taken the ice since March 5 -- and may not be ready when the puck drops on the postseason.

Marc Staal
Defense - NYR
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 11
SOG: 20 | +/-: 4
Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was the victim of a scary injury against the Philadelphia Flyers nearly two months ago. A slap shot from Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen ricocheted off the stick of teammate Jakub Voracek and hit Staal above his right eye. At the time of the injury, Staal was arguably the Rangers' No. 1 defenseman, replacing Ryan McDonagh on the team's top pairing with Dan Girardi.

Since the injury, the Rangers have solidified their blue line with the acquisition of John Moore in a four-player trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Though Moore has solidified the back end of the defense corps, the Rangers will need a healthy Staal to better their chances of pulling a first-round upset and making another deep run.

"With any kind of any other injury, I'd be in there sooner rather than later," Staal said April 18.

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Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness