The New York Rangers became the first team in the Eastern Conference to move into the second round with a 2-1 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night, helping them clinch the series by a 4-1 margin.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 25, 2015
1. One-Goal Matches
The Rangers may have clinched the series only allowing the Penguins to win a single game, but the series was tighter than that makes it sound. All five games were decided by a single goal and all four Rangers win were by a 2-1 margin with two of those four 2-1 wins coming in overtime.
2. 20th All-Time in Playoff Wins
With four wins in the opening round, Henrik Lundqvist moved up to 46 career playoff victories. That moves him past Jonathan Quick and Tony Esposito, both tied at 45, for 20th all-time in playoff wins.
Lundqvist also climbed the ranks of most playoff games played in a career by a goaltender during this series. He’s up to 96 playoff games in his career, 19th most in NHL history. That’s just one game behind Marc-Andre Fleury, the only active goaltender who has played more playoff games. Lundqvist, barring injury, should claim that title for his own in the second round.
One more? During the series, Lundqvist passed Walt Tkaczuk for the most playoff games played of any player in Rangers history. Tkaczuk played 93 playoff games for the Blueshirts.
3. The King’s Game 1 Excellence
Speaking of Lundqvist, he’s pretty amazing when he’s given a Game 1 match-up in Madison Square Garden. All-time, he’s 5-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .955 Sv% when taking a Game 1 at home.
While I’m at it, the franchise is pretty good at home in Game 1s as well. They’re 18-6 all-time in Game 1 matches in Madison Square Garden and 13-5 in those series when they’ve taken a 1-0 lead.
4. Brassard’s Quickie
Derick Brassard opened the series on a nice note for the Rangers, scoring just 28 seconds into Game 1. That was just one second shy of being the fastest goal in a Rangers playoff game ever. The record-holder there is Ed Hospodar, who scored 27 seconds into a game in 1981.
When Brassard potted that goal, he’d put up a point in eight straight games against the Penguins. He scored in Game 2 as well, extending that to a nine-game point streak against the Penguins. Entering the series, he had five goals and 11 assists in 16 career regular season games against the Penguins. He ended the series with three goals and an assist in five games. These stats can get blown out of proportion, but playing against the Penguins has gone awfully well for Brassard so far in his career.
5. Kreider Ties Adam Graves
6. Hayes Pots an OT Goal
The last player to get his first ever playoff goal in overtime was the Bruins’ Matt Fraser last season.
Watch Kevin Hayes’ goal:
7. How’s Your Bracket?
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 25, 2015
More From This Series
Thanks to the NHL and team PR Twitter accounts, as well as Elias Sports Bureau for some of the statistics.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.