New York Rangers’ Top Players Step Up In Game Six Win


May 26, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers center Derick Brassard (16) celebrates his goal during the third period in game six of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers’ top players stepped up in their season-saving Game Six win over the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final.

You have definitely heard New York Rangers coach, Alain Vigneault, use some variation of this phrase over the postseason: You need your best players to be at their best in order for you to win in the playoffs.

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For most of the Eastern Conference Final, that has not been the case for the Rangers. But, in yet another elimination game, their big guns stepped up and delivered, forcing a Game Seven at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

Henrik Lundqvist has obviously been the Rangers’ best player all postseason long, and while he did not post another 2-1 W, he was excellent again, keeping the surging Lightning off the board in the second period before the Rangers barraged them in the third with five goals.

Rick Nash, New York’s favorite whipping boy come springtime, had a goal and three assists, dominating at times and forcing turnovers like crazy. J.T. Miller had his best game as a pro, causing havoc and also adding four points of his own. Keith Yandle continued his strong play against the Lightning, notching a goal and an assist.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

But the real hero in this game was Derick Brassard. He recorded an absurd five points – three goals and two assists – delivering yet again in the postseason for the Rangers. The 27-year-old center has made a name for himself on the biggest stage over the past couple of years. In 53 playoff games – all as a member of the Rangers – Brassard has 40 points. That is spectacular for a kid who was being labeled a bust in Columbus only a few short years ago.

Now, as the spotlight shifts back to broadway, the real question is will the Rangers’ star players be able to keep it up? The Lightning’s top players – Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat – stepped up early on in the series, but in this game it was the Rangers’ top players who played a big boy game.

With a winner-take-all game coming up, it is safe to assume that the star players will have a say on the outcome. That has been the type of series it has been. Although, one might be able to say that each game has been incredibly different than every other. But, for this night at least, the Rangers had their top guns firing on all cylinders, and that is great news for the boys in blue.

Next: Never Count Out Rangers Facing Elimination

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