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Brian Boyle: Top-Seeded Rangers ‘Built For Playoff Hockey’

(credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN) – Brian Boyle and the Rangers are ready to party like it’s 1994.

But first things first. They’ll have to break their recent spell of first-round Stanley Cup playoff ousters.

“I think as a whole we’re pretty happy with our club. We’re confident in what can do, obviously,” Boyle told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Tuesday. “The way we play and the physicality we bring I think is built for playoff hockey.”

Listen: Boyle with Boomer & Carton

(Download the entire conversation HERE.)

The Rangers enter postseason play with a target on their back. And an early exit won’t be tolerated this time from fans of the East’s No. 1 seed.

“We have a different skill set than we had last year,” Boyle said of the team’s conference quarterfinals loss in 2011. “As a whole, we got in last year, we kind of squeaked in. Teams were kind of scared of us, thinking we could make some noise. Obviously we didn’t. But this year, I think, we’re a much better club regardless of what happened in April.”

Even though the Blueshirts struggled down the stretch, Boyle is confident in his squad.

Only this time around it won’t be the Washington Capitals looming in Round 1. They’ll instead have to get it done against the pesky Ottawa Senators, who have Craig Anderson back at goalie after a freak kitchen accident.

“They’ve played us well,” said Boyle. “They’re a difficult team to play against in a lot of ways, with their offensive ability. And if Anderson plays well, they’re even tougher.”

Boyle also gave his take on former first-round pick Chris Kreider, fresh off a college hockey championship with Boston College, and whether the NCAA star would sign on for the Rangers’ playoff run.

“I do expect to see him in a uniform. The question is, obviously, ‘When?’ ” said Boyle. “He’s going to be a good player in the league. I haven’t heard. I tried to talk to (GM) Glen (Sather) to see what they think is going to happen. But I’m not sure with their season going as long as it did, and a successful one.

“I don’t know what his plans are, if he’s gonna ride out the school year and then sign … or if he wants to come to the playoffs. I don’t know what the situation is.”

Do you think the Rangers will dispatch Ottawa? Sound off in the comments below…