In a scoreless Game 7 between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers in New York City, the Madison Square Garden crowd was excited yet quite nervous at the same time. They were excited because if the Rangers won they would advance to the second round of the 2013-14 NHL postseason, but they were also nervous because if the Rangers lost their season would be over. Add that to the fact of the team that scores the first goal in a Game 7 wins the majority of the time, and you could have literally cut the tension in that building last night with a knife.
Waiting anxiously for that first goal, the sold out MSG crowd erupted at the 3:06 mark of the second period when the Rangers broke the scoreless tie and jumped out to a 1-0 lead. The goal scorer was not Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Derek Stepan, Brad Richards or Mats Zuccarello. Instead it was the team’s unsung hero in the first round best-of-seven series, Daniel Carcillo. Yes, the enforcer known more for his agitation skills got the Rangers on the board, scoring his second goal of the series, with his first coming in Philadelphia in Game 3.
Rangers would later add another goal and win Game 7, 2-1, eliminating the Flyers and advancing to the second round to play against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After this Game 7, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault needs to stop scratching Carcillo. He has shown time and time again that the Rangers’ lineup is better with him in it, so Vigneault just cannot afford to scratch him any longer.
Carcillo has two goals in three playoff games this season and overall has seven goals and seven assists in 40 career postseason games. Carcillo is not even a scorer and he has five more goals in the playoffs than Nash.
Carcillo may be a pain, but he is a good pain to have if he is on your side. He keeps proving time and time again that he is clutch, and you need to have as many clutch players in your starting lineup as possible when in the playoffs — especially when playing the Penguins.