It's really only fitting that the Rangers best all-around performance of the playoffs catapulted them into the Stanley Cup Finals. While Henrik Lundqvist had his first shutout this postseason, it was an easier net between the pipes, as the Rangers limited the Canadiens to only 18 shots. Some recaps. [Blueshirt Banter] [NY Post] [ESPN NY] [Daily News] [The Record] [Newsday] [Blueshirts United]
A little credit where credit is due for Rangers GM Glen Sather. [Newsday]
Here are just some other general notes and thoughts from last night:
- With the victory last night, Lundqvist passed Mike Richter for all-time playoff wins in franchise history with 42.
- Ryan McDonagh became the first defenseman in franchise history to record eight assists in a playoff series.
- The Rangers speed was again on display Thursday night, as Carl Hagelin and Chris Kreider both made life pretty difficult for Montreal puck carriers. Team speed was a huge edge the Rangers had over Montreal.
- May 29, 2014: The Rangers advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. May 29, 2013: The Rangers fire former head coach John Tortorella.
- Whoever the Rangers draw next round—the Blackhawks or the Kings—will be able to skate with the Rangers. And while the Rangers will undoubtedly enter the series the underdog, they weren't supposed to make a deep run entering this postseason, or advance to the Eastern Conference Finals after falling behind 3-1, and the list goes on. It's cliche, but it's why you play the games. Anything can happen.
- Speaking of the next round, your Stanley Cup Finals schedule: Game 1: Wednesday, June 4; Game 2: Saturday, June 7; Game 3: Monday, June 9; Game 4: Wednesday, June 11; *Game 5: Friday, June 13; *Game 6: Monday, June 16; *Game 7: Wednesday, June 18
- Apologize if I sound like a broken record, but here it goes: Dominic Moore, Martin St. Louis ... what the Rangers are doing is bigger than wins and losses. Sure, they're captivating a city, and on the verge of their first championship in two decades, but these two men will be able to look back on terrible personal tragedies years later and be able to tell the story a bit differently. No words, only emotions.