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McDonagh key to Rangers' power-play improvement

by Dan Rosen

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh played more than 29 minutes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, marking the fourth time in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs he's logged at least that much ice time in a game.

However, for the first time in the playoffs, McDonagh had a regular role on the power play. Rangers coach John Tortorella said McDonagh was good in that role, and Tortorella took the blame for not putting him on the power play sooner.

"I think he helped us [in Game 4] on the power play," Tortorella said. "It's me. I [messed] that up not using him early enough and I should have."

McDonagh played 3:32 on the power play in Game 4 after getting out there for 1:19 through the first three games against the Boston Bruins and 2:57 over seven games against the Washington Capitals.

Tortorella, though, said he is not surprised McDonagh was able to make the power play more dangerous. The 23-year-old has done everything else well, so why not that too.

"When players are deemed a shut-down defenseman and it's the defensive part of it, I think sometimes players get trapped, 'OK, this is what I am,'" Tortorella said. "Ryan McDonagh is not just that."

Tortorella also praised McDonagh's attitude.

"He is probably one of the most intense, competitive persons and player that I have seen at such a young age," Tortorella said. "You don't notice that type of edge about him on the ice, but he is a guy that wants to be there and he just competes. It's not flashy. You guys won't see it, but it's just within him. I love that about him at such a young age."


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