HIGH FIVE - For the second time in franchise history, the Rangers have earned at least one playoff series win in a best-of-seven series in five years over a six-year span (2012 - 2015; 2017). Prior to the current six-year stretch, the only time in franchise history when the Blueshirts earned at least one playoff series win in a best-of-seven series in five years over a six-year span was from 1992-1997 (1992; 1994 - 1997). In addition, the Rangers have now won at least one playoff series in five years during a six-year span for the third time since the NHL adopted a four-round playoff format in 1974-75 (five consecutive years from 1979 - 1983; five years over a six-year span from 1992 - 1997).
CLOSING THE DOOR - Following tonight's win, the Rangers have now won 15 of their last 18 playoff games at MSG in which they have had a chance to close out a series, dating back to the Patrick Division Finals against Washington in 1986. New York has also won seven of eight such contests at MSG since the start of the 2012 Playoffs, as well as eight of 10 such games at MSG since the start of the 2007 Playoffs.
WINNING HAB-IT - The Rangers have won more playoff series (nine) and have played more playoff series (16) against the Canadiens than against any other opponent in their 90-season history. The Blueshirts have won each of their last three playoff series against the Canadiens (First Round in 2017; Eastern Conference Final in 2014; Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1996). In addition, New York has won 12 of its last 16 playoff games against Montreal, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1996.
PLAYOFF PERFORMERS - The Rangers lead the NHL in playoff games played since the start of the 2012 Playoffs (87). In addition, the Blueshirts lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (44) and playoff series wins (nine) over the span. The only NHL team that has earned more playoff wins than the Rangers have over the span is Chicago (48), and the only NHL teams that have won more playoff series than the Rangers have over the span are Chicago and Los Angeles (the Blackhawks and Kings have each won 10 playoff series since the start of the 2012 Playoffs).
FINISHING STRONG - The Rangers have posted a 13-4 record in the last 17 contests which were either Game 6 or Game 7 of a playoff series, dating back to the start of the 2012 Playoffs. In addition, the Blueshirts have posted an 8-1 record in the last nine contests which were either Game 6 or Game 7 of a playoff series, dating back to Game 7 of the First Round against Philadelphia in 2014.
HOME COOKING - The Rangers have earned at least two home wins in eight of 14 playoff series since the start of the 2012 Playoffs. The Blueshirts have won all eight playoff series in which they earned at least two home wins over the span.
TEAM EFFORT - During their First Round series against Montreal this year, 18 different Rangers tallied at least one point.
HITTING MACHINE - Since the NHL began to track hits in 1997-98, the Rangers' 285 hits in the First Round against Montreal in 2017 are the second-most hits the team has recorded in any playoff series (the most was 287 in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Washington in 2013).
TWO GOOD - The Blueshirts allowed two or fewer goals in each of their four wins against the Canadiens in the First Round. New York has allowed two goals or fewer in 27 of its 29 playoff wins since the start of the 2014 Playoffs.
SPECIAL TEAMS - New York outscored Montreal, 1-0, on special teams in tonight's contest. Including the regular season, the Rangers have 22 of 28 games when outscoring their opponent on special teams in 2016-17.
POWER SURGE - The Blueshirts were 1-for-1 (0:56) on the power play in the contest.
KILL ZONE - The Rangers were 3-for-3 (6:00) on the penalty kill in the contest. Dating back to the regular season, the Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal against in eight of its last 11 games (28-for-32; 87.5%).
Three Stars on Broadway
Mats Zuccarello posted his first career multi-goal game in the playoffs, tallied a power play goal, recorded the game-winning goal, and posted a plus-one rating. Zuccarello leads the Rangers in goals in the 2017 Playoffs (three), and he has registered three goals/points in the last five games.
Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves, and stopped all 17 shots he faced over the final two periods, to earn his 59th career NHL playoff win. Lundqvist is the Rangers' all-time leader in playoff appearances (122) and playoff wins (59), and he also leads all active NHL goaltenders in playoff appearances and playoff wins. Since the start of the 2012 Playoffs, Lundqvist has posted a 9-3 record, along with a 1.53 GAA, a .947 SV%, and 2 SO in 13 appearances in which the Rangers have had a chance to close out a playoff series. Lundqvist has also posted a 7-1 record, along with a 0.96 GAA, a .964 SV%, and 1 SO in eight appearances at MSG in which the Rangers have had a chance to close out a playoff series since the start of the 2012 Playoffs. In addition, Lundqvist has posted an 8-2 record, along with a 1.50 GAA, a .944 SV%, and 1 SO in 10 career appearances at MSG in which the Blueshirts have had a chance to close out a playoff series. He posted a 4-2 record, along with a 1.70 GAA, a .947 SV%, and 1 SO in the First Round against Montreal in 2017.
Ryan McDonagh recorded a power play assist while skating in a team-high 25:24 of ice time. McDonagh skated in his 90th career playoff game with the Rangers in tonight's contest, and he is one of five skaters (and one of six players) who have appeared in at least 90 playoff contests with the Blueshirts in franchise history.
Alain Vigneault has now won six playoff series as the Rangers' Head Coach, and he passed Emile Francis for sole possession of second place among Rangers head coaches in career playoff series wins. In addition, Vigneault has now earned more series wins in best-of-seven series than any other head coach in franchise history. The only head coach who has earned more series wins with the Rangers than Vigneault (regardless of the series format) is Lester Patrick (14). Vigneault has earned 29 career playoff wins as the Rangers' Head Coach, and he only trails Francis (34) and Patrick (32) in career playoff wins among head coaches in franchise history. Vigneault also earned his 66th career playoff win as an NHL head coach in tonight's contest, tying Lindy Ruff for 13th place on the NHL's all-time playoff wins list among head coaches.
Derek Stepan tallied an empty net goal and recorded three blocked shots. Stepan registered his 45th career playoff point with the Rangers, moving into sole possession of 10th place on the franchise's all-time playoff points list.
Mika Zibanejad notched a power play assist. He leads the Rangers in assists (three) and points (four) in the playoffs this year. Zibanejad has tallied an assist/point in each of the last two games (one goal, two assists over the span).
Kevin Hayes tallied an assist, won 12 of 19 faceoffs (63.2%), and posted a plus-one rating. He registered his first assist/point of the 2017 Playoffs in tonight's contest. Hayes won 61 of 106 faceoffs he took in the series (57.5%).
J.T. Miller notched an assist, tied for the team-high with three shots on goal, was credited with four hits, and posted a plus-two rating. He recorded his first assist/point of the 2017 Playoffs in tonight's game. Including the regular season, the Rangers have earned a win in 34 of the 43 games in which Miller has registered a point in 2016-17.
Dan Girardi registered an assist, was credited with four blocked shots, and recorded two shots on goal.