NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — It would seem there are two certainties ahead for the New York Rangers.
First, they will see some very familiar faces in the lineup of their opponent in the Eastern Conference finals: Tampa Bay’s Brian Boyle, Anton Stralman and, if he recovers quickly enough from an appendectomy, former captain Ryan Callahan.
Second, they will play lots of one-goal games.
The series opens Saturday at Madison Square Garden, which former Lightning players Martin St. Louis, Dan Boyle and Dominic now call home. New York has played 12 postseason games this spring and all were decided by the slimmest of margins, four in overtime, including Wednesday night’s 2-1 victory in Game 7 against Washington.
“It’s certainly a lot of fun, but we have a lot of work to do here,” Derek Stepan said. “You know we are only halfway.”
The Rangers also had two one-goal outcomes at the end of the 2014 Stanley Cup finals loss to Los Angeles; the 14 straight is a record.
“You have to be smart,” captain Ryan McDonagh said after New York capped a comeback from a 3-1 hole in the series with Washington. “We talked about it … to make sure shifts are short and you don’t get overextended out there. We’ve been in situations like that before and we trust each other out there.”