There were no guarantees issued by the captain of the Rangers the day before his team's second Game 7 of the playoffs, only a vow from Ryan Callahan heading into tonight's Eastern Conference semifinal showdown at the Garden against the Capitals.

"I need to step up and lead and do the things I'm counted on doing for the team," Callahan told The Post yesterday. "And that's what I expect of myself [tonight].

"Personally, I don't think I've been at my best in this series, but I'm looking to be stronger and better and create more offense. I have to do the things that make me effective and make us a better team."