The Rangers had their way with the Maple Leafs from start to finish, dominating in all three zones in a 7-1 walkover that made their opponents appear to be nothing more than a House League squad.

But before anyone gets too excited about this team that was walked over 24 hours earlier itself by the Penguins in Pittsburgh, the Blueshirts will have to do it again and again and again.

It isn’t that they need to put seven on the board on a regular basis. It is that they need to play with the hunger, discipline, pace and puck pursuit that manifested itself through the match in which the Rangers dictated the pace from the first minute of play.

“We had talked [after the game in Pittsburgh] about the things we wanted and needed to do,” said Derek Stepan, whose line keyed the Blueshirts’ revival with a swarming down-low shift 45 seconds into the match that proved contagious. “We avoided turnovers, we managed the puck well, we got good dump-ins that allowed us to forecheck better, and we want forechecking to be a big part of our game.”

Stepan and wingers Rick Nash and Chris Kreider’s disruptive shift was immediately followed by a shift on which a Ryan Callahan forecheck created a Carl Hagelin chance. The Rangers were quicker to the puck for the remainder of the match throughout which they won a huge majority of puck battles.