Derek Stepan Ranger's Diary: We're ready for Game 7
After a great practice Wednesday, you can really feel how focused and ready our team is for Game 7. It has been an interesting series for us. We knew coming in that the Senators would be a tough opponent. They have skilled players and a great power play. We've had to battle for every puck and every inch of ice.
Facing elimination in Game 6, we knew it wasn't going to get any easier. As a team, we were really able to rise to the occasion, and our power play came through when we needed it most. It was a great feeling for all of us - and for me personally to be able to finish the day contributing to a big win.
It was great having [left wing Carl] Hagelin return [from a three-game suspension], and I know how excited he is to get back on the ice at MSG. He helped spark our team with his speed in Game 6. And Chris Kreider, in only his third game, scored the game-winning goal for us. Richie [Brad Richards] showed that he is a true playoff performer once again. I don't even need to mention Henrik [Lundqvist], who has been the backbone of this team all season - but his game was flawless.
We are all ready to take that momentum and carry it over into Game 7 back in New York. We can't wait to get back home, and we need the Garden faithful with us from the National Anthem right on through. We feed off of your energy and support and can't wait to hear the roar when we come through that tunnel and hit the ice Friday.
Forward Derek Stepan, 21, joined the Rangers last season. The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Rangers, MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns amNewYork.