Sean Hartnett

Former Rangers captain Mark Messier (Al Bello/Allsport/Getty Images), Washington's Alex Ovechkin (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Sorry Rangers Fans, But Ovechkin-Messier Comparison Is Dead-On

Once the bitterness wears off, New York fans might realize that Game 1 should be remembered for the show put on by Ovi.

05/01/2015

Washington's Braden Holtby makes a save against Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on December 23, 2014. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Blazing Speed, Lundqvist Give Rangers Edge Over Caps

Barry Trotz has molded the Caps into a rugged group. But soon, the Rangers will teach them that you can’t hit what you can’t catch.

04/30/2015

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals celebrates a second-period goal by Joel Ward against the New York Islanders during Game 7 of their opening-round playoff series at Verizon Center on April 27, 2015. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Hey Rangers, Meet The New And Improved Alex Ovechkin

Standing between the Rangers and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals is reborn Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.

04/28/2015

Derick Brassard sets up in front for a goal against Marc-Andre Fleury of the Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Consol Energy Center on April 22, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Rangers’ Brassard Thriving Under Pressure, Embracing Role As Mentor

Call him “Big-Game Brass.” Like clockwork, Rangers center Derick Brassard has emerged — again — as a go-to guy in the playoffs.

04/24/2015

Kevin Hayes of the New York Rangers celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winning overtime goal in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on April 22, 2015. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Rangers, Inspired By Vigneault’s Fiery Speech, Take Care Of Business

The Rangers came out of the gates flat in Game 4. It was a sloppy, turnover-prone, all-around dreadful start. What they needed was a kick in the butt.

04/23/2015

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins sits on the ice following being hit during the third period against the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 18, 2015. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Rangers Have Effectively Gotten Under Malkin And Crosby’s Skin

The Penguins are headed for an embarrassingly quick playoff exit and another summer filled with questions if Crosby and Malkin don’t get their act together.

04/21/2015

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden on April 18, 2015. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Rangers Can’t Allow Mistakes To Linger Into Game 3

The suddenly vulnerable Blueshirts will enter the lion’s den when they take the ice at Consol Energy Center against the Penguins on Monday night.

04/20/2015

Dominic Moore of the New York Rangers and Blake Comeau of the Pittsburgh Penguins battle for position during the first period in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden on April 16, 2015. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Rangers Show They’re Primed For Deep Run In Series-Opening Win

When they have a lead, the Blueshirts knuckle down. They are the masters of closing out victories. The Penguins got a taste of it in Game 1 on Thursday night.

04/17/2015

Rick Nash scores against Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on December 8, 2014. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: 5 Things To Watch As Rangers, Penguins Renew Playoff Rivalry

With the series opener upon us, here are the keys to what should be a highly charged, emotional series.

04/16/2015

Kevin Hayes of the New York Rangers skates against the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 3, 2014. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: The Kevin Hayes Show Is Set To Air Under Bright Lights Of The Playoffs

Since the first of training camp, Rangers center Kevin Hayes never acted like an ordinary 22-year-old.

04/15/2015

Martin St. Louis #26 of the New York Rangers throws a T-shirt to fans following a 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden on April 9, 2015. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett’s NHL Playoffs Predictions: Will Rangers Lift The Cup?

The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Rangers were kings of the regular season, but will this finally be the year that King Henrik raises Lord Stanley?

04/14/2015

Cam Talbot #33 of the New York Rangers receives the Steven McDonald Award prior to the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on April 6, 2015. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Rangers’ Talbot Could Cap Unforgettable Season Tuesday Night

Should he come away with a victory, the Rangers will clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference and capture their first Presidents’ Trophy since their Stanley Cup-winning season of 1993-94.

04/07/2015

Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers makes a save against Steve Bernier #18 of the New Jersey Devils during a game at Madison Square Garden on April 4, 2015. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Good News, Rangers Fans — Lundqvist Appears To Be In Playoff Form

It’s only taken Henrik Lundqvist four games to shake off the rust following his return from a scary vascular injury that forced him to miss 25 consecutive games.

04/06/2015

Head coach Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers claps his hands on the bench in third-period action in an NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on March 31, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Alain Vigneault’s Magic Touch Could Pay Off In Stanley Cup Glory

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault is the man with the Midas touch. The Rangers have taken tremendous leaps forward in each of Vigneault’s first two seasons behind the bench.

04/03/2015

Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets puts pressure on Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers in third-period action at the MTS Centre on March 31, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

Hartnett: NHL Will Look Like April Fools If Byfuglien Escapes Ban

That was as bad of a cross-checking incident as you’re going to see in an 82-game season. It’s time to get tough, NHL. Throw the book at Byfuglien.

04/01/2015

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