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Discover ‘Road to the Cup’: New York Rangers

May 28, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers - Game Four Getty Images

It’s been 20 years since the Blueshirts have been to a Stanley Cup Final — and now, they’re just one win away.

Getting to this point, though, hasn’t been easy. Let’s take a look back at how the Rangers advanced…

Round 1: Beat Philadelphia 4-3

New York’s opening-round opponent was its bitter divisional rival and, as you’d expect in a series between two teams separated by just two points in the standings, this one went the distance.

The series was as back-and-forth as it gets, with the Rangers and Flyers alternating wins until New York captured the final and most important one in Game 7 at MSG. As for individual performances, the Rangers were paced by the offensive contributions of Brad Richards, who made amends for last year’s disappointing playoffs by scoring six points in seven games (three coming in a Game 1 victory). Henrik Lundqvist was also his usual solid self, finishing the series by stopping 26 of 27 shots in the Game 7 victory, good for a .963 save percentage and second star honors.

As the series came to a close, an interesting narrative began: Philly and New York played Games 6 and 7 on back-to-back nights, and the Rangers had little time to celebrate as they were forced to start their second round series against the Penguins soon after.

Round 2: Beat Pittsburgh 4-3

Talk about scheduling dominated the early parts of this series, as Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said it was “stupid” how, after Game 3, the Rangers had played five times in seven nights.

Pittsburgh took advantage of a tired club and raced out to a 3-1 lead on the Rangers during this stretch, but the Blueshirts found momentum amid tragedy following the passing of Martin St. Louis‘ mother prior to Game 5. St. Louis played inspired hockey in the aftermath, scoring two points in the final two games — including a goal in Game 6, played on Mother’s Day — as the Rangers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.

That put New York on the road to where it’s at today. The Rangers still sit in the driver’s seat over Montreal — leading three games to two — despite losing Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final at the Bell Center. Should they put away the Habs, the Blueshirts would be back in a Stanley Cup Final for the first time since Mark Messier captained them to a championship in ’94, which snapped a 54-year Cup drought in the process.

  1. charlie24zz - May 28, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    NOT GONNA HAPPEN MIKE HALFORD

    • 7mantel - May 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      weren’t you asking for a razor after the NYR’s went up 3 game to 1 ?

  2. bigblueapple - May 28, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Just one Cup in 74 years and counting. The American version of the Leafs.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 28, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      ^ Ouch.

    • argofckyourself - May 28, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      Your team could win 10 Cups in a row and it still wouldn’t mean as much as 1994 did to Rangers fans. Take that one to heart.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        That’s sad. Almost as sad as a NY Jets fan clinging on to 1968-69 … almost …

      • pl4tinum514 - May 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        What a load.

        New York has so many sports teams that have won championships, you act like you’re some kind of Championship-starved city.

        Gimme a break. Try being a Cleveland sports fan or something.

      • bigblueapple - May 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        Common knowledge the Rangers won that Cup at the trade deadline due to the fact there was no cap. Which in my opinion makes your statement that much more pathetic and Leaf like.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 28, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        pl4tinum514, aside from the Yankees, Giants, and Islanders (if you want to count them and their amazing dynasty in the 80’s), every other team is a complete failures for a franchise (when the bar is winning championships).

        That includes the Rangers, Jets, Mets, Nets, and Knicks.

    • billiam55 - May 28, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      rangers won the cup in 94. 20 years ago not 74 dumb dumb. if ur gonna try and chirp, know what ur talking about.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 28, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        He stated 1 Cup in 74 years. After the 1940 season to the most likely outcome of this season, they have one lowly championship.

        Learn to read, dumb dumb.

      • bigblueapple - May 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Hey bozo, they hadn’t won a Cup in 54 years prior. Ask your parents to help you figure out what I said and get back to me. Thanks.

      • billiam55 - May 28, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        bozo? lol ok grandpa

      • bigblueapple - May 28, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        Yeah because riffling off ignorant replies with words like “dumb dumb” is so much younger and hipper.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 28, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      That’s also very unfair to the Toronto Maple Leafs. =-)

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