The Rangers are in it, and they are in it to win it. Just listen to Ryan Callahan tell it after scoring at 2:55 of overtime last night against the Hurricanes to clinch a playoff berth for the Blueshirts in the season’s penultimate game. “We’ve been there and seen how an eighth seed [Ottawa] took us to seven games last year in the first round when we were seeded first, and how an eighth seed [Los Angeles] won the Stanley Cup,” the captain said after the Rangers’ 4-3 victory. “The season didn’t go exactly the way we planned it or maybe even expected it to go, but we’re there. “And there’s a sense of accomplishment through the way we battled and came together over the last few weeks to make it.” The Rangers, buoyed by the additions of Mats Zuccarello, Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard and John Moore in the days before the April 3 trade deadline, went 9-3-1 down the stretch to qualify for the tournament for the third straight year and seventh time in the last eight seasons. With tomorrow afternoon’s finale against the Devils at the Garden in front of them, the Rangers could finish in sixth, seventh or eighth place. They could meet Washington, Boston, Montreal or Pittsburgh in the first round that will likely begin next Tuesday or Wednesday on the road. “I think that Saturday is a big game and that’s what we should focus on,” said Henrik Lundqvist, who has started 13 straight, 22 of the last 23 and 42 of 47 overall. “I will talk to them [today] about playing or not, but I personally think that game could change a lot of things.” Last night’s game changed a number of times over the course of the match’s 62:55. The Blueshirts grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first before yielding a pair of goals in the second and then the lead early in the third to a Carolina team long ago eliminated from playoff contention.
Rangers earn playoff spot with 4-3 win over Canes
New York Post | Apr 26