Sean Hartnett

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

Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers allows a goal by Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins in the first period at the TD Garden on March 28, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Rangers Must Respond After Weekend Wake-Up Call

What Rangers fans have seen over the past two games is probably a blip. This team has shown an ability to self-correct all season long.

03/30/2015

Mats Zuccarello #36 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal with teammates on the bench in the first period against the Los Angeles Kings on March 24, 2015 at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Hartnett: ‘Next Man Up’ Mindset Driving Playoff-Bound Rangers

The Rangers have done all of this without Lundqvist, St. Louis and Klein. Imagine what this team is capable of doing when its at full strength.

03/27/2015

Derek Stepan #21, Kevin Hayes #13 and Keith Yandle #93 of the New York Rangers celebrate the win over the Anaheim Ducks on March 22, 2015 at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Yandle Is Showing That He Can Be Rangers’ Difference-Maker

During Sunday’s victory, Yandle became the only defenseman to record three 40-assist seasons since 2010-11.

03/23/2015

Henrik Lundqvist (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: What Controversy? Lundqvist Gives Rangers Best Shot At Winning Cup

Just like an old Western where one man stays and the other gets out of Dodge, this town isn’t big enough for two top goaltenders.

03/18/2015

Cam Talbot #33 and Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers celebrate a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers after their game at Madison Square Garden on March 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Hartnett: With Rangers Not At Their Best, Cam Talbot Comes To The Rescue

Scorching-hot goaltender Cam Talbot continued his mastery between the pipes. Talbot made 38 saves, including 20 during a one-sided second period controlled by the visitors.

03/16/2015

Cam Talbot (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Cam Talbot Has Played Like A True No. 1 Goalie During Henrik’s Absence

Since Feb. 4, Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot has surpassed expectations while franchise netminder Henrik Lundqvist remains sidelined indefinitely due to a vascular injury.

03/11/2015

John Tavares is checked by Dan Girardi and Jesper Fast of the New York Rangers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on January 27, 2015 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Expect Fireworks When Rangers, Isles Meet At The Coliseum

Tuesday night will mark the final Rangers-Islanders regular-season epic at Nassau Coliseum. And with everything that’s at stake, it’s sure to be a good one.

03/10/2015

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