Rangers ready for do-or-die Game 7

Captain Ryan Callahan leads the Rangers in a deciding Game 7.

The Rangers’ reward for a regular season that saw them win 51 games and earn 109 points comes tonight.

The Rangers host Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Senators at the Garden tonight at 7 p.m. (MSG).

“It’s a great day in your life to wake up and know everybody is watching,” Brad Richards said after yesterday morning’s loose-but-focused practice at the team’s facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. The only player who did not participate in the practice was captain Ryan Callahan, who was given a “maintenance day” by John Tortorella.

“Game 7 is something you don’t forget,” Richards said.

The Rangers have won their last three Game 7s at the Garden. The last time the Rangers hosted a Game 7 was June 14, 1994. On that night, the Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2, to win the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup Championship.

“I definitely think the crowd can be a factor,” goalie Henrik Lundqvist said.

Added Michael Del Zotto:  “I’m sure it’s going to be exciting. We need [the fans to be] on our side, especially tomorrow; create a hostile environment for Ottawa.”

The last time the Rangers competed in a Game 7 was three years ago. The Rangers lost the game 2-1 to the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, a series in which the Blueshirts had a 3-1 lead before dropping the final three games by an aggregate 11-4 margin.

“I think [more] positive energy in the group here,” Lundqvist said when asked to differentiate the 2009 team and the current edition. Only Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Marc Staal, Artem Anisimov and Dan Girardi remain from that team.

“When you play games where there is more hype, more expectations, you learn something every time about yourself. Playing a game like Winter Classic was a learning experience,” Lundqvist said.

“I know it is a very important game. I’m going to approach the same way I approached the last game, the game before that and the series.”

Lundqvist named finalist

Lundqvist was named a Vezina finalist Wednesday morning. It marks the fourth time in his career that Lundqvist is a finalist for the award honoring the league’s top goaltender. Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and the Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne are the other finalists.
 
Lundqvist finished the regular season with a 39-18-5 mark. His .930 save percentage and eight shutouts were tied for third most in the league with the Phoenix Coyotes’ Mike Smith in both categories. He tied the St. Louis Blues’ Jaroslav Halak for fourth in the NHL with a 1.97 goals against average.
 
“I’m really proud and honored,” Lundqvist said. “There [have] been a lot of goalies this year who have played really well.
 
“I feel great about it. I’m really happy about it.”
 
Del Zotto with a no comment

Del Zotto said he “didn’t know what [Chris Neil] said,” when asked to comment on the Senators’ right wing’s threat to “catch [the Rangers’ defenseman] with his head down one of these times,” following Game 6. The league did not fine Neil nor did he have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety. 

“I’m just worried about tomorrow’s game — a huge game for us,” Del Zotto said. “Game 7 in our building; it’s going to be exciting and that’s all I’m worried about.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Local

PHOTOS: More than $12 million in heroin, crystal…

Authorities seized more than 44 pounds of heroin and 17 pounds of crystal meth from two stash houses this week during a Manhattan drug bust.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.