Rangers Notebook: Rangers, Devils both staying positive

Ilya Kovalchuk.

The Rangers entered their fourth do-or-die playoff game this postseason
with the same attitude that has permeated one of the most
successful campaigns in franchise history.
 
“Staying positive,” Brandon Prust said about the Rangers’ mental outlook during the team’s media availability at Madison Square Garden Friday morning. “It’s something that we’ve done all year and have done a good job at, even though when you’re going through tough times, you’re going through  rough patches. We’ve always stayed positive and it’s helped keep us successful.”
 
But isn’t there inherently more pressure in a Game 6 when a team trails in a series three games to two?
 

“It’s always exciting, in a game where it’s all or nothing  here,” Henrik Lundqvist said. “Keep playing or go home. And you just have to see it as an exciting game, great challenge, great opportunity instead of just a lot of pressure.

“You try not to think about it. You don’t put more pressure on yourself. You go out there and try to play your game and focus on the things you want to focus on. Looking forward to the game,” Lundqvist said. “Of course, everybody knows it’s an important game, but when you play, you try just to block everything out.”

Devils feeling good too

Of course, the Devils entered the game feeling good about themselves. That is only natural when entering a potential clinching game with a series advantage.
 
“I feel good. I feel confident. Where else would you rather be? I mean, I don’t think anyone predicted at the start of the season that we would have a chance to play a home game to move on to the Stanley Cup final. And we’re in a great spot. We worked awfully hard to get to this point. And where else would you want to be?” Devils coach Pete DeBoer asked reporters at the Prudential Center Friday morning.
 
“I don’t think any extra difficulty other than the difficulty you put on yourself — that pressure that you put on yourself. I don’t really buy into that — that it’s the hardest to win,” DeBoer said. “I mean, it’s the hardest to win because of the pressure you put on yourself to do that. And for us, it’s business as usual. We just have to play our game and win a game.”

Kovalchuk enjoying run
 
This playoff campaign is the first extended run for Ilya Kovalchuk in his 10-year career. And he has been relishing the opportunity to display his wares on the sport’s grandest stage.
 
Kovalchuk has totaled 16 points (six goals and 10 assists) in 16 games, including a goal, three assists and a minus-one rating in the Eastern Conference finals.
 
“I think it’s media-created,” DeBoer said when asked about a perception of selfishness regarding Kovalchuk. “I didn’t see any of that. I said from day one he’s been all in; team first, great teammate. I didn’t see even a hint of that, and I haven’t seen it at all this year. So totally false, and we wouldn’t be here without him.”
 
*
 
Rangers’ legends Pete Stemkowski, Ron Greschner and Stephane Matteau hosted a viewing party at Local NYC across the street from the Garden.


Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter
@DenisGorman.
 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."