New York Rangers Roundup, 3/29/17: Playoffs Clinched, J.T. Miller Collects 2 (Highlights)
Mar 28, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) celebrates scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks in the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Miller tallies two goals in helping the New York Rangers clinch a playoff spot against the San Jose Sharks at the Shark Tank on Tuesday.

It doesn’t matter how the playoffs come, as long as they do, indeed, come. After a troubling defeat at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks, the New York Rangers shook off a rough start and came back to clinch a playoff berth against the San Jose Sharks on the west coast.

The Rangers did wind up losing the game, 5-4, in overtime thanks to a Brent Burns power play goal. After taking a 4-3 lead in the third period, San Jose’s Chris Tierney knotted it up with just 2:15 remaining in regulation.

Still, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are now a certainty for Rangerstown.

J.T. Miller was the stud of the night in collecting two goals. Starting the game on the fourth line accompanying Oscar Lindberg and Matt Puempel, he first sniped one short-side, top-shelf and then capitalized on the power play in the third period, one that gave New York the lead:

Derek Stepan and Jesper Fast were the other two goal-scorers on the night. Henrik Lundqvist bounced back from a poor start by stopping 30 of 35 shots.

Miller has now tied a career high with 22 goals. Chris Kreider, thanks to his game against the Ducks, has surpassed the 50-point mark.

Playoffs, Again:

This is the seventh consecutive season the Rangers will be participating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For Alain Vigneault, it’s four out of four with the organization. It also marks the 11th time of the last 12 seasons New York is postseason bound.

Barring something extremely crazy, New York looks to be locked into that No. 1 wild card slot. They’ll start on the road against the Atlantic Division champs in the first round.

News and Notes:

Now that Brendan Smith has proved to be the Rangers top physical presence in front of the net and Kevin Klein is on the mend, Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes that Dan Girardi seems to be the odd-man out along the blueline. He did play alongside captain Ryan McDonagh in the 4-3 win on Tuesday night.

Joe Fortunato of Blueshirt Banter highlights the signing of Penn State defenseman Vince Pedrie.

Derek Radich and Greg Slotnick of the Real Talk Rangers Podcast welcome in Tom Dianora of The Hockey Writers (Audio).

Up Next:

The Rangers will next return home for a Friday night contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins. If there’s a ever a time to start winning at Madison Square Garden, now would be convenient.

 NEXT: Miller Snipes One at the Shark Tank (Video) 


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Founder of Elite Sports NY — Formerly of FanSided — Jets, Rangers, Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Giants — Former strong safety, point guard, and 400-meter hustler. Has interviewed the likes of Rob Dyrdek, Michael Waltrip, and Dominique Wilkins and has seen his work shared by major publications such as Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, and Yardbarker.

Born as a New York Sports Fan, something unexplainable in his blood that’ll never be shaken. Remembers the Kevin Maas days, the Yankees on MSG, the Bruce Coslet era, and the Spring of ’94.

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