Apr 26, 2012, 10:51 PM EST
It took the New York Rangers seven games, and they only barely managed to come away with a 2-1 victory on Thursday, but they’ve succeeded. They’re going to the second round.
“They should be real proud of themselves,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said. “For about an hour.”
Yes, because ultimately getting past the first round was never the goal. The Rangers finished the season with the top seed in the Eastern Conference and won more games than any team still standing. A long playoff run is the expectation, although to accomplish that they’ll have to get through the Washington Capitals. Washington dispatched them in five games last season, but a lot has changed over the last year.
“They’re a team that’s a lot like we are,” Henrik Lundqvist told PHT’s Joe Yerdon. “It’s going to be a hard series.”
The Rangers have already experienced one of those in their playoff run and so have the Capitals for that matter. Then again, there aren’t many easy playoff series anymore.
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 16
- Columbus puts Bobrovsky (groin) on IR, out 4-5 weeks 1
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Olympic odds, Russia’s defense, King Henrik’s new deal, Fire Cappy? and more 27
- With Lundqvist deal done, Sather faces tough questions 11
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension 41
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks 52
- Report: NHL set to finally pay Gretzky at least $7M 15
- Kadri out as falling Leafs start tough stretch vs. Sharks 9
- Wounded Wings: Zetterberg (back) out, joins Datsyuk on shelf 7
- Burrows out with broken jaw (Update: expected to miss at least four weeks) 22
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (52)
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension (41)
- Panthers announced attendance Tuesday night lowest since 2008 (37)
- Islanders embarrassed in fifth consecutive loss (33)