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Make it three in a row for Kreider

by Brian Compton

Chris Kreider has quickly made a name for himself this postseason.

Less than two months after finishing up his collegiate career at Boston College, the talented rookie tied a franchise mark with the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.

Chris Kreider
Left Wing - NYR
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 7
SOG: 22 | +/-: -2
Kreider, 21, notched his fifth goal in 15 postseason games in New York's 2-0 win against the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Prudential Center. The 6-foot-3 rookie has now scored in three straight contests, becoming the first Rangers' rookie to do that during the postseason since Don Maloney accomplished the feat back in 1979.

Kreider also set a new record for most playoff goals from a player who has never played in a regular-season game. Montreal's Eddie Mazur had four.

And, lastly, Kreider is the fourth rookie in the last 25 years to score a goal in each of the first three games of a playoff series -- and the second to do it this year. Dwight King of Los Angeles also has scored in the first three games of the Western Conference Finals.

"The puck follows him around," Rangers coach John Tortorella said of Kreider. "And he has a ways to go away from the puck, but he has a knack with that puck. And as we continue, especially when the season starts next year, I think that's when we'll certainly find more about him. But it's pretty exciting to see what he's doing as a kid coming right out of college."

Exclusive company -- Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi joined Devils forward David Clarkson in an exclusive club Saturday. Both have scored three goals this postseason -- and all three have been game-winners. They are the first two NHL players whose first three goals in a playoff year were all game-winning goals since Peter Forsberg did it with the Colorado Avalanche in 2000.

Two in a row? -- The Los Angeles Kings had gone 43 years without ever having a swept a round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Their historic run continues Sunday afternoon at Staples Center, where the Kings can complete their second straight sweep with a victory against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Los Angeles beat the second-seeded St. Louis Blues in four straight in the second round.

"We've worked real hard to get to this point," Kings center Jeff Carter said. "It's not going to be easy to win that Game 4. We know we're going to get their best effort, and we need to be ready."

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL
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