Before the 2013 playoffs, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin had one goal between them in 42 combined playoff games. After four games with the Washington Capitals, the pair have emerged as offensive leaders with two goals each, including both Game Winners by Derek Stepan.
Derick Brassard meanwhile had never played a playoff game before joining the Rangers, missing out on the only trip to the playoffs in Columbus Blue Jackets history due to injury. Brassard leads all Rangers after four games with one goal and four assists.
Mats Zuccarello also features with three assists in four games, after playing just one playoff game in 2011 and missing last year’s run with a broken arm suffered late in the regular season.
Out of the seven players who’ve registered multiple points to date, three of them – Stepan, Hagelin and Ryan Callahan – were Ranger draft picks, and one – Zuccarello – was an undrafted free agent. Taylor Pyatt rounds out the seven with two assists, a player who went half the regular season without a single point.
Callahan, who is the active goal scoring leader with 12 playoff tallies, remains 23rd all time behind Bill Cook, Cecil Dillon, Bill Fairbairn, Eddie Johnstone and Esa Tikkanen on 13. He’s ranked 3rd all time amongst American born Rangers, behind Dillon and Brian Leetch who had 28.
His two assists moves his point total to 21, which places him in a three way tie for 41st with Murdoch and Carol Vadnais, passing such luminaries as Wayne Gretzky, Steve Larmer, Tomas Sandstrom, Martin Straka and Tikkanen who all have 20. He ranks fourth amongst American born Rangers.
The Rangers’ captain is also the active +/- leader for the Rangers, with a +1 on the series to give him a playoff career total of +6. Ryan McDonagh is second with +2. Dan Girardi is a +3 in the series, cancelling out the -3 career mark he had when entering this series.
Finally, Callahan has added six penalty minutes to his career total to take him to 38th, which leads active Rangers. It ranks him 64th overall, seventeen ahead of Brian Boyle who has 21 for second amongst active Rangers.
Henrik Lundqvist meanwhile has a slightly higher GAA at 2.44 versus his playoff career average of 2.32, but has an above average save percentage of .922 against .917 for the rest of his career.
This past week, Lundqvist moved into 21st all time in playoff games with his 56th and 57th appearances. He is one behind Anders Hedberg for 20th all time. He trails Ed Giacomin – 65 – and Mike Richter – 76 – for playoff appearances by a goaltender.
Girardi’s power play goal to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead last night, was his second post season PPG, he now trails only Callahan who has four career post-season PPGs.
The Capitals came into the series with the best power play in the regular season, but after four games the Rangers and Capitals each have two. Only the Sharks, Ducks, Senators and Penguins have more in the playoffs.
On the PK, the Capitals have killed 8 of 10 and are ranked 3rd of the 16 post season teams. The Rangers are ranked 9th.
Interestingly enough, the Rangers have never trailed after one period in the first four games, nor have they lead during the second intermission. The teams have played a total of 248 minutes in the series so far, the teams have been tied 54 percent, the Rangers have lead 32 percent and the Capitals 14 percent.
John Tortorella is appearing in his fourth playoffs as Rangers head coach, which ties him for third all time with Frank Boucher. His two wins – 15th and 16th – in this series have moved him into a tie for fourth with Mike Keenan – who got all of his in the Stanley Cup year of 1994 – passing Fred Shero who has 15.
His 16-20 lifetime record in the playoffs, is only good enough for a .471 win ratio, 9th all time. He’d have win the next three games to pass Boucher for 8th, and would need to win four straight to tie the trio of Herb Brooks, Colin Campbell and Ted Sator who all have a .500 record.