Hockey Prospectus, www.puckprospectus.com, is the hockey sibling in the famous Prospectus sports advanced stats analytics family. Some of their writers not only appear on the home site, they also do guest features on ESPN and other sports sites. They do a great job of analyzing the sport through the prism of advanced stats.

Tom Awad, one of the talented scribes and stat analysts on the site, developed a metric whose baseball comparable would likely be Runs Above Replacement-level (RAR). Awad called his player evaluation stat, “Goals Versus Threshold” (GVT) and with it determines a player’s on-ice contributions relative to a “threshold” or “replacement” player. (Before I go further I want to thank Tom for the help he has given me as I try to understand the GVT metric. Sometimes I just can’t grasp the nuts and bolts of these advanced stats. Tom has gone above and beyond in helping me to better understand.)

If you are a fan of baseball you may have heard of the RAR stat. This stat is a close comparable to GVT in that it represents a player’s value above a “replacement” or “threshold” player in a term (runs for baseball or goals for hockey) fans are familiar with. A “threshold” or “replacement level” player would be defined as the top AHL/minor league player in the organization or the highest ranking free agent on the market in-season (not a prospect) and carries a GVT or RAR value of zero. Basically the guy a club would go get in the event one of their regular players went down to injury or something to that effect. For Rangers fans think Chad Kolarik, Andre Deveaux or Kris Newbury.

The GVT metric takes into account the offensive, defensive and shootout contributions of skaters and the goaltending and shootout performances of netminders. The calculations are done separately based on position; forward, defense and goalie. That’s because the responsibilities associated with each position and the stats that accompany them are inherently different. Forwards tend to be expected to produce goals; the blueliners are tasked primarily with goal-prevention; and of course goalies are supposed to stop the puck from crossing their goal line.

The complex formulation also weighs ice time and the quality of that ice time. Obviously players who receive the most ice time have a better chance of accruing the type of counting stats that would help boost his GVT. Factoring the quantity of a player’s ice time serves to normalize his GVT. Just as important as considering the quantity of ice time is factoring for the quality of that ice time.

Clearly ice time is not created equally. For example; it is much easier to score goals while on the man-advantage than it is to score a goal while killing a penalty or at even strength. Thus the formula weighs the different types of ice time differently. It doesn’t punish a PK guy for allowing a goal as much as it would that player at even-strength or the PP. Conversely a player isn’t rewarded quite as well when scoring a marker on the PP as he would if scoring at even-strength or on the PK.

As part of a project I was working on at the time, I attempted to quasi-reverse-engineer the GVT stat so I could track players’ real time performances. Unfortunately, Hockey Prospectus has not been able to make that available to its readers… yet. Mr. Awad told me in an email that they hope to have the GVT stat live on the site by October.

Regardless, I quickly learned just how complex and comprehensive the stat is. I can’t imagine any potentially useful data that may have been omitted from this calculation. At the end of the day, I learned two things: One being that I had a love/hate relationship with Microsoft Excel; the other being that Tom Awad put a ton of work into the GVT metric. He accounts for offense, defense and shootout performance for skaters while factoring for a goaltender’s performance for regulation and in the shootout.

Here’s how some of our favorite Rangers ranked in GVT this past year and for comparative purposes I’ll include the finalists for this year’s Hart, Norris and Vezina trophies.

[jcolumns]Rangers ForwardsRyan Callahan – 7.8

Brandon Dubinsky – 9.6

Marian Gaborik – 10.2

Artem Anisimov – 7.5

Brad Richards – 17.5

Mike Rupp – 1.4

Brian Boyle – 8.0

Brandon Prust – 6.3[jcol/]

Hart Trophy FinalistsCorey Perry – 23.3

Daniel Sedin – 26.2

Martin St. Louis – 20.4[/jcolumns]

---

[jcolumns]Rangers Defensemen Marc Staal – 8.7

Dan Girardi – 9.9

Ryan McDonagh – 4.6 (in roughly half a year)

Michael Sauer – 7.1[jcol/]

Norris Trophy FinalistsNicklas Lidstrom – 16.1

Zdeno Chara – 12.8

Shea Weber – 12.7[/jcolumns]

---

[jcolumns]Rangers RookiesMats Zuccarello – 5.5 (in roughly half a season)

Derek Stepan – 7.0[jcol/]

Calder CandidatesJeff Skinner – 13.9

Logan Couture – 16.1

Michael Grabner – 16.8[/jcolumns]

---

GoaltendersHenrik Lundqvist – 29.6

Tim Thomas – 40.0

Pekka Rinne – 36.5

Roberto Luongo – 27.3

What I find interesting is that the Rangers had seven players with a GVT between 7.5 and 10.2. Gaborik was the highest rated skater at 10.2 but he wasn’t close to any of the Hart candidates. This suggests that the Rangers were a balanced club but lacked players who performed at a truly elite level.

Given that Hank rated slightly higher than Roberto Luongo, it stands to reason perhaps he deserved a Vezina nomination rather than the Canucks backstop. Regardless, even GVT backs up the voters awarding of the trophy to the Stanley Cup winning Tim Thomas.

I was surprised that Zuccarello rated so highly considering he played just half a season. Since GVT is more-or-less a counting stat, it is feasible that if the “Norwegian Hobbit” had played a full schedule he would have finished with a GVT around 11; or twice what he earned in half the campaign. That figure would have led Ranger skaters.

GVT is the one player evaluation metric that is close to being perfect. Unlike PC, GVT doesn’t appear to overvalue goaltenders quite like Ryder’s PC metric and it’s hard to argue either with the sheer volume of data included in the formula or with the actual mathematics behind it.

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Tags: Advanced Stats

Brian Compton, Adam Rotter, and Nick Licalzi break down the Rangers' first round series win over the Montreal Canadiens, and preview their second round matchup with the Ottawa Senators. Later, Brian chats with Ian Mendes of TSN to discuss Erik Karlsson, Derick Brassard, Bobby Ryan, and the rest of a tough Sens squad.

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12:21PM: Rick Nash has a maintenance day and is not skating today at Rangers practice. (NYR)

The lines the Rangers are using, without Nash, today are (Cyrgalis)

  • Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Jimmy Vesey, Derek Stepan, Brandon Pirri/Tanner Glass
  • JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello
  • Michael Grabner, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast
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Apr 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) skates with the puck against Montreal Canadiens during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Apr 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) skates with the puck against Montreal Canadiens during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

In the first round of the playoffs, JT Miller had 1 assist, 13 PIM, 7 shots on goal, 18 hits and 9 blocked shots while averaging 18:21 per game.

Miller picked up his first point in the series in Game 6, a secondary assist on the game winner, and only had 2 games out of the 6 where he had 2 or more shots on goal.

In games 1, 3, 4, 5 he had 2 shots on goal.

Tags: J.T. Miller
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Apr 12, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty (67) is checked by New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) during the first period of game one of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Apr 12, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty (67) is checked by New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) during the first period of game one of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

In the first round against Montreal, Dan Girardi was credited 1 assist, a plus two rating, 8 shots on goal, 14 shot attempts, 17 hits, 21 blocked shots, 3 takeaways and 18 giveaways.

He averaged 22:13 per game and when he was on the ice at 5 on 5 the Rangers had 44% of the shot attempts.

Girardi said that he is pleased with how he has played so far and said that his focus has been on working as hard as he can. (NY Post)

Tags: Dan Girardi
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Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) celebrates an empty net goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) celebrates an empty net goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault spoke about Henrik Lundqvist on Monday and noted that he was "phenomenal" and mentioned twice that Lundqvist out played Carey Price.

Vigneault also praised Lundqvist for his save on Max Pacioretty in Game 5 with the score tied and 7 minutes left.

Against Montreal Lundqvist stopped 195 of 206 shots, had one shutout and a GAA of 1.70.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Alain Vigneault was a guest of Mike Francesa earlier today on WFAN and said:

  • On being down 2-1 and challenging the team, "we had played two really good games in Montreal, lost the second one where they tied it with 17 seconds and then won in OT. We didn't play well in Game 3, you just gotta make sure that the players respond and you need your big players to come up big for you and we certainly did in Game 4 and played our best game of the series, tied it up and went back to MTL and it was unbelievable, Game 5, and we were able to get it done in OT. It was a hard fought series, very similar, very competitive and two great goalies that met head to head and at the end of the day Hank was the better goalie."
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Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion was on TSN1200 today and spoke about the Rangers, saying:

  • "We all watched that series attentively, it was probably the series I watched the most and they are a good team. They are fast, compete, skate, Boston was tough, the Rangers are going to be tougher. They have an elite goaltender, many world class players, we can stand here and talk about how good they are but in saying that, it's a 7 game series, there have been surprises in the playoffs and we won't take anything for granted and hopefully we can make a bit more noise."
  • "The Rangers are going to be a very tough opponent. They are well coached, Jeff Gorton, their GM sits beside me at every GM meeting and we talk a lot. I know everyone knows about Alain, he is one of the better coaches in the league and we are going to have our hands full."
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Henrik Lundqvist posted an image on Instagram talking aboout the playoffs and continuing "the push."

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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According to Bovada, the Rangers are 7th out of 8 teams for the best odds to win the Stanley Cup.

The Rangers are at 8-1 and are only followed by Ottawa at 10-1.

The Rangers are listed at 7-2 to win the East and odds are set at 15-1 for a Stanley Cup Final between the Rangers and Ducks or Oilers and 17-1 for a matchup against the Predators or Blues.

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Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) battles with Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin (74) during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) battles with Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin (74) during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

The Rangers led all teams in the first round with 285 total hits, 47.5 per game, after finishing 16th in the regular season with an average of 20.9 per game.

The following chart, via Corsica, has each Rangers hits for and times they were hit:

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Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) celebrates with Rangers left wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) celebrates with Rangers left wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Following the Rangers Game 6 win over Montreal, Alain Vigneault talked about how the Rangers were able to bounce back after a tough Game 3 to win three straight games and eliminate the Habs.

Vigneault talked about "focus and character" and how the Rangers responded to game three by "playing hard and playing the right way.

He said that the Rangers had a full team effort against Montreal and said "at the end of the day it was a hard fought series and our goaltender made some timely saves and we were able to get it done."

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 (Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
(Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

Associate coach Scott Arniel was in Boston yesterday to watch Game 6 between the Sens and Bruins, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

After yesterday's game, former Ranger Derick Brassard was asked about playing the Rangers and said that he wasn't going to start thinking about it until later but added "it's going to be a big challenge for our team. We're aware of that." (Ottawa Citizen)

The series begins on Thursday in Ottawa.

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New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) celebrates scoring a goal during the second period against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)
New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) celebrates scoring a goal during the second period against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)

4/23/17 | 10:49PM: The NHL has announced the schedule for the Rangers and Sens:

  • Thursday 4/27 in Ottawa: 7PM
  • Saturday 4/29 in Ottawa: 3PM
  • Tuesday 5/2 at MSG: 7PM
  • Thursday 5/4 at MSG: 7:30PM
  • Saturday 5/6 in Ottawa: TBD*
  • Tuesday 5/9 at MSG: TBD*
  • Thursday 5/11 in Ottawa: TBD*

*If necessary

10:30PM: The Rangers and Senators will begin their second round series this Thursday, April 27, in Ottawa. (Shannon)

The rest of the schedule has not been released yet.

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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers 00:04:11
Taylor Rooks and Justin Tasch recap the Rangers' first-round playoff series against Montreal and preview the next round against Ottawa.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Bruins in OT on Sunday to clinch their series over Boston 4-2.

The Rangers will face the Senators, and former Ranger, Derick Brassard in the first round.

The Rangers defeated the Senators in 7 games in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Heading into last night's game Mats Zuccarello had 1 goal, 0 assists, a minus two rating, 14 PIM and an average of 21:17.

Last night Zuccarello had two goals on 2 shots, including the game winner, and played 18:28.

Video

Tags: Mats Zuccarello
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Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault said on Friday that the Rangers aren't getting a lot of PP opportunities in games or getting many opportunities to practice it.

He said that the Rangers are trying to pick up on some cues where they might be able to get better and added "I'm telling myself and our group that we are due and hopefully" game six will "be the time."

On Saturday, before Game 6, he said again that the Rangers were "due" to score on the PP.

On Saturday in Game 6 the Rangers scored their first PP goal of the series when Mats Zuccarello beat Carey Price.

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Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Montreal ended the first period up 1-0 and with a 11-6 shot advantage and a 28-15 shot attempt advantage.

The second period ended with the Rangers up 2-1 and a second period lead of shots 12-9 and attempts, 21-20. (Hockey Stats)

Mats Zuccarello said that after the first intermission the Rangers talked about how they were losing every battle and how that wasn't acceptable. (NY Post)

Zuccarello said that the Rangers "came together as a team" between the first and second and put together a "solid win." (NY Post)

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Brendan Gallager said after the game that it was a close series but one where the Rangers did "a few more good things" than the Habs did. (Rangers Game Notes)

Alex Radulov said that the bottom line was that the Habs couldn't get past Henrik Lundqvist. (NHL.com)

Shea Weber said that the Rangers were the better team and deserved to win. (NHL.com)

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Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault during the third period in game five against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault during the third period in game five against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers win in Game 6 and said:

  • On Game 3 to now, "without a doubt a lot of focus and character. We didn't play real well in Game 3 and after playing pretty good in Montreal and coming 17 seconds away from having a 2-0 lead, it was 1-1 and we didn't play real well and our guys responded. They responded by playing hard and playing the right way and you gotta give credit to Montreal and they came at us hard, competed real hard. At the end of the day it was a hard fought series and our goaltender made some timely saves and we were able to get it done."
  • On the lineup and line changes after Game 3, "it might look good right now obviously but I have a lot of confidence in this group and sometimes you make some little moves and guys respond. A couple of guys after the first couple of games weren't playing as well as we needed them to play. You look at Hayes' line tonight, I didn't think they were that good the last game in Montreal and tonight they responded with a good performance. That is the way the game is."
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The Rangers were on the covers of some of the local papers following their Game 6 win over Montreal.

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Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) celebrates an empty net goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Apr 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) celebrates an empty net goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Lundqvist was awarded the Broadway Hat for tonight's win.

From the Rangers Game Notes, "-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."

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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The Empire State Building was lit up in Red, White and Blue to celebrate the Rangers series win over Montreal

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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers win 00:01:18
The Rangers defeated the Canadiens, 2-1, on Saturday to take the series and advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs.

Mats Zuccarello scored two goals in the second period to lead the Rangers to a series-clinching victory over the Montrael Canadiens in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference playoff series. >> Read more


First period:

  • 16:19 MON Alexei Emelin; Assists: Alexander Radulov, Artturi Lehkonen 

Second period:

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Brendan Smith said on Friday that the Rangers want to look at tonight's Game 6 as a Game 7 because they don't want to have to return to Montreal for a Game 7. (Newsday)

He said that "anything can happen" in a Game 7 and that they can go "either way." (Newsday)

Smith said that the Rangers need to play a smart game and use home ice as a motivator. (Newsday)

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Alain Vigneault met with the media prior to Game 6 and said (NYR):

  • "I believe that our PP is due. First one in the last game had some real good looks, last one didn't but we are due and hopefully it's tonight."
  • On Nick Holden, "he's been good the last couple of games. When he's on top of his game he is very dependable, makes the right reads when he doesn't have the puck and when he does have the puck he can make some good plays and jump up in the attack when the opportunity is there. He's been a real effective defenseman for us, for the most part this year and he's going to have a good game tonight."
  • On experience, "I think it does. Anytime you have been through something you bring that knowledge with you to the next opportunity. We have an opportunity tonight against a real strong opponent. It's going to take our very best game. The last two games we have been getting better and tonight we will have to be real good and we are very aware of that."
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault noted that with the Rangers adding Pavel Buchnevich into their lineup they have "balance" across their four lines.

Vigneault said that even with Buchnevich the Rangers can still play a physical game but that they also bring more skill into the lineup.

He said that he wouldn't classify any of his lines as a first, second, third or fourth line and said that this depth and balance allows for the Rangers to roll lines quickly and not be "overly concerned" about matchups.

Dave Maloney noted after Game 5 that having Buchnevich in the lineup makes the Rangers deeper, adds more skill and also puts 27-goal scorer Michael Grabner into a different role. (MSG)

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Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

Following the Rangers win on Thursday, Mats Zuccarello said that the Rangers had a "real team effort" and that the players "played for each other," worked hard and had an "unbelievable performance from Henrik Lundqvist. (MSG)

Henrik Lundqvist said that the focus for the Rangers lately has been to "put in everything you've got in every game" and that in both games 4 and 5 the Rangers have done that." (NY Post)

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Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) prepares for a face off during the overtime period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) prepares for a face off during the overtime period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

4/22/17 | 5:51PM: Alain Vigneault said that "Chris Kreider was back" around the 15 minute mark of the third period, and OT, of Game 5 and started to use his speed, went to the net and protected the puck.

4/21/17 | Prior to Game 5, Larry Brooks wrote that Chris Kreider needed to go to the net and stop "tiptoeing" around Carey Price's crease as if it was an "active minefield." (NY Post)

In the first four games of the series Kreider averaged 17:11 per game, had 0 points, 8 shots on goal, 12 hits, 3 giveaways, 1 takeaway and 3 blocked shots.

Tags: Chris Kreider
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Alain Vigneault met with the media in Montreal early on Friday and said (NYR):

  • How do you manage playing extra time, "you just continue to play. Overtime is a great part about this game, anybody, on any given night can be the one who makes a difference. This is what is fun about this game. We went out in OT and battled real hard and just went out and played and we were able to get the bounce and the winner."
  • On Pavel Buchnevich, "that was part of the equation, they at some points during the season and early on played well together. Good skill set, real good communication between the three. For those of you who remember, Chris is one of the guys who can speak a little Russian on our team so he helped Pavel early on when Pavel was struggling with his English. Now he is just fake struggling with his English so that he doesn't have to talk to the media (smile). Just one of those things where we put them together and thought that in the second half of the game they really got better."
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 (Pavel Golovkin)
(Pavel Golovkin)

The Rangers have signed 23-year old Russian defenseman Alexei Bereglazov to a contract.

The Rangers were considered the favorites to sign Bereglazov.

Bereglazov is 6-4, 205 and has played in 162 games in the KHL over the past four seasons, 5 goals and 28 assists, and 40 playoff games, including a Championship in 2015-16.

He won Bronze with Russia at the 2014 World Juniors as a teammate of Pavel Buchnevich and was also a teammate of Buchnevich and Rangers prospect Igor Shesterkin in the Euro Hockey Tour last year.

  • Bereglazov, 23, skated in 60 games with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) this season, registering one goal and 18 assists for 19 points, along with a plus-nine rating and 20 penalty minutes.
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Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad (93) plays the puck during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad (93) plays the puck during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

Mika Zibanejad scored the game winning goal in OT last night and had an assist, 3 shots on goal, 3 shot attempts blocked, 1 that missed the net and 4 hits in 17:53.

Zibanejad said on MSG that after he scored he blacked out.

While presenting Zibanejad with the Broadway Hat last night, Rick Nash said "good players find the puck and the puck finds good players."

Zibanejad said that his goal last night was the most important one in his NHL career and said that there is nothing like winning in OT in the playoffs. (Expressen)

Tags: Mika Zibanejad
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Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

In OT last night the Rangers had 10 shots on goal and 24 shot attempts compared to Montreal's 3 shots on goal and 14 shot attempts for.

The Rangers had 3 high danger chances for in OT, Montreal had 0 and the Rangers had 11 scoring chances for and only 5 for Montreal. (Natural Stat Trick)

Derek Stepan said that the Rangers learned their lesson from the OT in Game 2 and played much more on their toes in Game 5 and got a "great effort from everyone. (MSG)

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The Rangers are on the back page of today's Newsday and NY Post.

The Daily News has the Rangers mentioned in the top banner with the headline: "Rangers In Control"

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Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers OT win and said:

  • On his reaction to seeing the puck go in, "everyone is pretty happy. They came out real hard but I thought that in the second and the third we played better and thought we carried the play in OT. There is no doubt that we got a bounce but we worked real hard and got that bounce."
  • On the PK in the second period, "we lost a bit of momentum early on in the second but the second half of the game and OT we played well and got some good looks, made better plays with the puck. It was a hard fought game, goes to OT, two teams competing real hard."
  • On Zibanejad, "I thought that line, Mika, Kreids and Buch in the third and OT were real strong, not just making plays with the puck but backchecking real hard and spent a lot of time in OT in their end. They had a real strong finish to this game."
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Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad (93) reacts with teammates after scoring the winning goal against Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) during the overtime period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad (93) reacts with teammates after scoring the winning goal against Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) during the overtime period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

Mika Zibanejad scored the OT winner for the Rangers in Game 5 and put them up in the series 3-2.

Derek Stepan said on MSG, "There were four of us standing next to each other, me, Millsy, Hayes and Zucc and we jumped higher than I have ever seen the four of us jump. It's a big goal and we move on."

On the play, Zibanejad said "I just tried to whack it to the net and when I saw it go in I just blacked out and can't remember much more." (MSG)

Tags: Mika Zibanejad
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