Jimmy Vesey scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the New York Rangers ended the regular season with a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more
- 9:16 PIT Nick Bonino; Assists: Dominik Simon, Phil Kessel
- 13:54 NYR Ryan McDonagh; Assist: Michael Grabner
- 18:31 NYR Derek Stepan (power play); Assists: McDonagh, Mika Zibanejad
- 13:38 PIT Carter Rowney
- 7:23 NYR Jimmy Vesey; Assist: Zibanejad
- 3: Magnus Hellberg
- 2: Jimmy Vesey
- 1: Ryan McDonagh
- Well the preseason part of the regular season is now over and the playoffs begin on Wednesday. The Rangers played a much more formidable lineup tonight but it still felt like two teams running out the string and hoping no one gets hurt before the real season begins.
- Ryan McDonagh sure looks like he is ready for the playoffs. That time off certainly did wonders for him as he looked to be able to do everything he will need to do for the Rangers.
- I think that it was the right idea for the Rangers to return most of the 7 players who were out yesterday to the lineup. McDonagh played well, Stepan scored, it was nice to see Nash and Zuccarello back out there. It's also good for guys like Hayes, Kreider and Smith to get a game and an extra day off before the playoffs.
- I have no real basis for thinking this, but as I mentioned on the podcast last week, I just have this feeling that Jimmy Vesey is going to be a big part of this run for the Rangers. I can see him playing a similar role to the one that Chris Kreider did in 2012, scoring 5 goals in that playoff run. Vesey has the hands and ability to be that guy and I just wouldn't be surprised if he took another step during the playoffs.
- So the regular season is over and for the most part it was pretty good, pretty enjoyable 82 games for the Rangers. They went through a few different phases (5 goal games, being really fast, unable to defend) and had some very interesting subplots (Henrik's up and down game, PP struggles, PK struggles, unbelievable on the road, terrible at home, Michael Grabner scoring like crazy) and now they need to try and take the best of this season and consolidate it as they hit the playoffs. Montreal and Carey Price will not be easy for the Rangers and this already seems like you can pencil it in for 6 or 7, but this team is capable of winning as long as they manage the puck well. If they turn the puck over and allow Montreal to play the game that the Rangers want to play, with speed and transition, it will be a very tough series. If they manage the puck well and defend well in front of Henrik Lundqvist then there is no reason why they can't win this series.
The New York Rangers will open the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens.