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Ryan McDonagh has best game of series

Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh skates against Philadelphia Flyers

Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh skates against Philadelphia Flyers during the first period in Game 7 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Before Game 7, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault responded specifically to a question about Ryan McDonagh, pointless in the series.

"He's obviously been our best defenseman all year," Vigneault said. "He's played some good hockey so far in this series, but I do believe that there's another level. He needs to find that tonight for us."

McDonagh responded las night, playing 24:03, including 1:54 on two penalty kills. He had four blocked shots, two shots on Steve Mason, one that forced a blocker save shorthanded, and two hits.

"We take a lot of pride [on the penalty kill]," he said. "The way Game 6 went, giving them some power play looks, we didn't feel we were as aggressive, we didn't keep them on the run as much, they got to their setup a lot. There was just a lot more assertiveness, everybody was in lanes. I liked the way we approached it."


Nash plays with edge

Rick Nash didn't score in the series, but looked sharper.

"I'm trying to find my game," said Nash, who hit a post on his first shot, had three attempts blocked and recorded five hits.

"He made so many good defensive plays at the right time, they're as important as a goal," Vigneault said.

"It's a sense of relief," said Nash. "An 82-game season came down to one game and we played desperate."


Dom Moore nominated

Rangers center Dominic Moore was named one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which honors perseverance and dedication to hockey. Moore, 33, left the sport to care for his wife, Katie, who was dying from a rare form of liver cancer, then signed with the Rangers, who drafted him in 2000, as a free agent last July. Moore had six goals -- and two more goals in this series -- and has been strong on the penalty kill and in the faceoff circle all season.

New York Sports