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Rangers Bolster Odds to Hoist Stanley Cup

New York Halfway to First NHL Title since 1994

Chris Kreider joined legends Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky as the only players in New York Rangers franchise history to score three goals in one period of a postseason game. His hat trick in the third period lifted the Rangers to a series-clinching win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The NHL Odds paid out at +550 for the Rangers to win the series in six games.

The last time that the Rangers won the Presidents’ Trophy by posting the best record in the NHL during the regular season, they reached the Eastern Conference finals in 2015. The previous eight Presidents’ Trophy winners had been eliminated in either the first or second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Rangers Bolster Odds to Hoist Stanley Cup
Vincent Trocheck #16 of the New York Rangers/Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

The Rangers won the first three games against the Hurricanes, but when Carolina took a 3-1 lead into the third period, it looked like the series would head back to Madison Square Garden for a winner-take-all Game 7.

Kreider’s three goals and an empty-net tally by Barclay Goodrow gave the Rangers their first playoff since Messier’s huge game in 1994 lifted the Rangers past New Jersey in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals after he guaranteed that the team would win the game. New York would go on and win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title since 1940.

New York waits for the winner of the series between the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins as the Rangers eye their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in a decade. The Rangers won the only previous series against the Panthers but have dropped four of the five previous playoff series against the Bruins.

According to the NHL playoff odds, the Rangers (+300) are tied for the third-best odds to win the Stanley Cup.


Star Players Delivering for Blueshirts

At this time of the year, your best players have to be your best players and that has been the case with the Rangers.

Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck, Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere were the forwards who had the most points for the Rangers during the regular season.

They happen to be the only five players for the Rangers with at least 10 points in the playoffs.

Panarin, coming off a 120-point season, leads the NHL with four game-winning goals during this year’s playoffs. Trocheck and Kreider also have game-winning goals. Kreider is the franchise leader with 47 goals and 12 game-winning goals in the playoffs.

The NHL betting line had Kreider at +1000 to be the top goal scorer in the series between the Rangers and the Hurricanes.



Igor Starting to Feel It

Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin went into the season listed by the Vegas NHL odds as one of the top Vezina Trophy candidates. While he is not a finalist for the Vezina, there are a couple of other trophies within his grasp.

Shesterkin is moving up in the Conn Smythe Trophy odds and he will secure his spot in franchise folklore if he leads the Rangers to the Stanley Cup title and gets to be among the first players on the team to skate Lord Stanley’s cup around the rink after the final game of the season.

Shesterkin has a 2.40 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in this season’s playoffs with his save percentage ranking fourth in the postseason.

Shesterin has stopped 37 of 41 shots while the Rangers are killing penalties. Among goalies with at least 20 saves while their team is shorthanded, only Boston’s Jeremy Swayman has a better save percentage than Shesterkin.

Former Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick is Shesterkin’s backup so the Rangers are in good shape in the goaltending department.


Special Teams Delivering

New York used a power-play goal to key the comeback in Game 6 and the Rangers are third in this year’s playoffs on the power play, scoring on 31.4% of their man-advantage situations.

Their work on the penalty kill has been even more impressive.

New York leads the playoffs by killing off 89.5% of the opposing power plays. The Rangers have allowed four goals on 38 power plays in the first 10 games of the playoffs. They have also scored four short-handed goals so taking penalties has not been a problem for the Rangers.

Trocheck trails only the Edmonton Oilers’ duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in power-play points in the playoffs while Zibanejad, Kreider and defenseman Jacob Trouba are tied for the playoff lead with two short-handed points.

Two of the four goals for the Rangers while being short-handed have been scored by Trouba and fellow defenseman K’Andre Miller.


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Questions Of The Day

How Many New York Rangers Players Have Won the Stanley Cup?

Forward Barclay Goodrow was a part of two NHL championship teams with the Tampa Bay Lightning while backup goalie Jonathan Quick has been a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams.

Who led the Rangers in scoring in the second-round series?

Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck were tied for the team lead with eight points in the six games against the Carolina Hurricanes while Chris Kreider had a team-high five goals.

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