New York Rangers Blueshirt Beat, 4/22/17: Game 6 Preview, Pavel Buchnevich Must Stay
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

After Mika Zibanejad‘s OT heroics, Pavel Buchnevich and the New York Rangers have a shot to close out the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

  • New York Rangers (3-2)
  • Montreal Canadiens (2-3)
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs, Round 1
  • Game 6, Sat., Apr. 22, 7 p.m. ET, MSG
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

One more win. That’s all that’s needed for the New York Rangers to walk into their home locker room at Madison Square Garden and place that fourth Stanley Cup puzzle piece onto the wall.

As Mark Messier once said, “The fourth win is always the toughest,” so these Blueshirts have a tough road to haul.

Obviously, the reason the Rangers enter Saturday night up three games to two is thanks to Mika Zibanejad’s overtime heroics two nights ago.

(You’re welcome Rangers fans. We already know you’re now replaying this video over and over and over again to the sweet sound of Sam Rosen’s voice.)

Anyway, much has been made of the Habs attempt to get to Henrik Lundqvist. It’s gotten to the point that guys like Andrew Shaw, Brendan Gallagher and Steve Ott lay bricks in The King’s crease.

New York Rangers

Rangers rugged defenseman Brendan Smith is now telling us it’s reached a breaking point, via Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News.

“It’s a message, but I’m not out there just trying to send a message,” Smith said in reference to dropping the gloves with Shaw in game five. “The thing is we’re trying to take care of (Lundqvist). He’s playing really well so they’re gonna try to get their bumps and we have to protect him. I think they kind of crossed the line a little bit there. Those things happen. Shaw’s a warrior and he tries to go to the front of the net, and I’ve got to make sure that that can’t happen. I think (Steve) Ott was right in there.

“We obviously want to protect our goalie and we don’t want to see Henrik get hurt from guys jumping on him or falling on him. That’s a little bit on our ‘D’ and our low forwards to make sure that doesn’t happen. I guess it’s a message, but in most ways that just happens in hockey and sometimes you’ve just got to answer the bell.”

One man who took a little grit away from the lineup is Pavel Buchnevich who was inserted into the lineup prior to game four in favor of Tanner Glass. The results have been tremendous. Buch, playing with Zibs and Chris Kreider, has forced Michael Grabner back to the fourth line, forming an excellent group with Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg

There’s no chance in the world Alain Vigneault can go back to a Glass lineup.

Outside Links:

  • Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post asks where struggling Kevin Klein fits into the Rangers future.
  • Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News explains that Tanner Glass is OK with not being in the lineup.
  • The Rangers have inked Russian defenseman Alexei Bereglazov, via Adam Herman of Blueshirt Banter.

First puck drop for game six comes your way at 7 p.m. ET. Expect mayhem at Madison Square Garden.

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