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TimeMay 5, 2017

Senators v Rangers - Game 4 - Rangers D Men join Defensive Party

Photo: David Hahn/Icon Sportswire

The New York Rangers produced back to back 4-1 wins in games three and four at home, but the play-by-play numbers indicate that defense, not offense, was the common factor.

On the offensive side of the puck, the Rangers had their lowest play-by-play output of the series in game four, but were 21.6% more efficient in converting their offensive plays into goals. Anderson using his glove instead of his blocker on one goal, and Phaneuf with a sloppy pk clear on another, no doubt helped the Ranger’s goal conversion. Offensive play-by-play to goal conversion is a product of opposition goaltending, skill and finish of shooters, and of course some luck.

Defensively the Rangers contributed just below their great game three performance, but this time the Rangers defensemen contributed several times more in play-by-play defense.

Ranger Contribution Highlights

Rick Nash has 'game four magic' as his two best games of the playoffs have been in game four of both round one vs the Canadiens, and now in round two against the Senators. He doubled up his average contribution in the series based primarily on his offensive contributions.

Oscar Lindberg also nearly doubled his contributions in game four and his average performance in the series exceeds his regular season average by 78.5%.

Kris Kreider was well back of Lindberg but was at the front of a four-player group that provided a strong second tier of contribution.

Nick Holden posted his strongest game and beat his average performance in the playoffs by 385%, by playing steady defensively and leading all defensemen offensively. He has the widest range of performance of any defenseman in the series.

Marc Staal led all defensemen in defensive contributions with a 138% improvement over his play-by-play playoff average.

Ryan McDonagh was third in contributions but 43% below his playoff average, largely due to a handful of uncharacteristic turnovers.

Brendan Smith was fourth but almost 300% above his playoff average.

Senators Contribution Highlights

Mark Stone and Zack Smith led the Ottawa forwards but their performance was 31.3% below the average per game contribution of their top forward in the series.

Victor Stalberg and Jean-Gabriel Pageau were next with Stalberg performing 86% above his playoff average and Pageau 46.7% below his playoff average.

Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot and Cody Ceci led the Ottawa blue line. Katrlsson had a steady game defensively other than failing to close a passing lane to Holden on his first period goal.

Stay tuned for game five to see whether the Senators can regain that huge wave of momentum generated in game one and two, that never made it to the New York Harbor. __

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