The New York Rangers scored their first power play goal of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Thursday’s Game 4 win over Boston, and looked more dynamic with the man advantage than any of the previous three games of the series.
Head coach John Tortorella thinks he knows why — he wasn’t using Ryan McDonagh enough.
McDonagh, who logged 3:32 of power-play ice time in Game 4 (only d-man with more was Michael Del Zotto) was a major catalyst, according to Torts.
“I think he helped us on the power play,” Tortorella said on Friday. “It’s me, I screwed that up not using him early enough and I should have.”
McDonagh was a virtual non-factor with the man advantage during the regular season. He averaged just 38 seconds of power play time per night and had just one point — an assist — in 47 games.
But with the Rangers all but out of ideas (they were 2-for-38 heading into last night), Torts decided to give McDonagh a shot, and the move paid off. He had two of New York’s six power-play shots on the night, and looked comfortable manning the point.
Tortorella was full of praise for McDonagh’s ability to rise to the occasion.
“He’s probably one of the most intense, competitive people, players,” Torts explained. “He just competes.”