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Rangers figuring out how to get power play to click

by Dan Rosen

BOSTON -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella sort of hemmed and hawed after getting a question about his team's struggling power play Thursday morning.

He appeared intrigued about the potential of it getting close to coming through, considering the Rangers were able to get the puck into the zone and keep it there against the Washington Capitals, but he wasn't about to argue against the reality that two goals on 28 chances simply isn't good enough.

"Still wasn't good," Tortorella said. "We need to be better right on through it."

The Rangers do feel they're close because of the zone time they were able to generate on the power play, especially late in the first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against Washington.

They also know that a power-play goal or two could go a long way to winning their Eastern Conference Semifinal series, or at least Game 1 Thursday, against the Boston Bruins, who were similarly ineffective with their power play against the Toronto Maple Leafs (3-for-20).

"You see struggling power plays, more times than not they have trouble getting into the zone, where our power play we were able to get it in," Rangers defenseman and point man John Moore said. "It's more just one reason or another we're not getting those bounces, but we're getting good movement, we're getting good looks, it's just a matter of keeping at it and shooting the puck."

The Rangers will be facing a new challenge from the Bruins' penalty kill, which is considerably more aggressive at pressuring the points than the Capitals, who started to hang back a bit against the Rangers, potentially a reason they were able to keep the puck in the zone but not get too many quality scoring chances.

"We have to adjust to how they're going to PK," Brad Richards told a group of reporters Wednesday. "That's what we're doing [at practice on Wednesday], get a feel for what they're going to do."

The power play is the only thing about the Rangers' game right now that Tortorella isn't happy about. He said Game 7 was their best game in the Washington series and he's hoping to be able to carry it through into Game 1 Thursday at TD Garden.

"I think we've gotten better through the seven," Tortorella said. "Our power play struggled a bit, but other than that I thought we played really well and I thought we got better as the series went on."

Here is the Rangers' projected lineup for Game 1:

Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan

Mats Zuccarello - Derick Brassard - Rick Nash

Taylor Pyatt - Brian Boyle - Derek Dorsett

Chris Kreider - Brad Richards - Arron Asham

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Steve Eminger

Henrik Lundqvist

Martin Biron

Scratched: Matt Gilroy, Roman Hamrlik, Kris Newbury, Micheal Haley

Injured: Marc Staal (eye), Darroll Powe (undisclosed), Ryane Clowe (undisclosed)


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