It was a night to remember for Andre Burakovsky, a baby-faced kid who was born in Klagenfurt, Austria, but has found a home in the nation's capital.
The 20-year-old rookie was born when his father, former Ottawa Senator Robert Burakovsky played in Austria, but he grew up in Malmo, Sweden.
Latest Rangers stories
However confusing the lineage, Burakovsky simply shredded the Blueshirts Wednesday night, beating Henrik Lundqvist twice on sparkling moves and shots in the 2-1 win that sent the Rangers spinning.
"I've been struggling a little with shots and I think I need to shoot more," said Burakovsky, who scored nine goals in 58 games, "and the guys have been telling me I need to shoot all the time. Today, I had a couple shots on net that worked out pretty well."
His first goal, which came on a strip of Chris Kreider along the boards, changed the tone of the game as it created a 1-1 tie with 3:31 left in the second. His second goal came 24 seconds into the third.
Burakovsky's road to Wednesday night's heroics -- which included five blocked shots, one on Kevin Klein after Braden Holtby stopped Carl Hagelin's penalty shot -- consisted of some healthy scratches and time spent in Hershey of the AHL. "He continued to work hard in practice, he continued to be a great teammate," Troy Brouwer said. "He was excited to get back in and when he did early on in the playoffs, he was only used in certain situations. But lately he's been playing very well defensively, and [coach Barry Trotz] has some good confidence in him."
Blocking shots, said Burakovsky, "is something you have to do. It's really important that we are sacrificing our bodies for a win here. No matter how much it hurts, it feels good inside to block a shot."
Linemate Jay Beagle said Burakovsky, a first-round draft choice in 2013, "is doing the little things right. At the beginning of the game, he makes a couple of good dumps where me and Brouwer can get in on the forecheck. He's got tons of skill and we don't want to take that away from him. He displayed it tonight. He's found a really good balance."