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Rick Nash, New York Rangers: This is what Rick Nash came to New York for, and this is why the Rangers aggressively pursued him across two different trade deadlines and two separate drafts.
After facing years of futility with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the All-Star winger finally asked for a trade out and received his wish when he was dealt to the Big Apple. Now it's time for him to prove that he's a player that's capable of thriving under the brightest of spotlights.
His previous trip to the playoffs was as an eighth seed in Columbus, and his team was swept out by the powerful Detroit Red Wings. No one was expecting big things from either him or his squad at that point. That isn't the case anymore in New York.
Nash has been one of the most consistent scoring threats for the Rangers this season, and he'll have to continue to generate chances and cash in on them for New York to get beyond the Capitals.
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: No surprise here.
Few players are as important to the success of their team as Alex Ovechkin. Washington has other scoring threats, sure. Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Ribeiro and Mike Green are all capable of contributing big offensive numbers.
None of them bring to the table the dynamic offensive ability that the Great 8 does.
He's always been an electric shooter, and has fired his way to another Rocket Richard trophy as the league's top goal scorer. This season has seen Ovechkin add a slick passing element to his game, and now teams are never quite sure if it's Ovie of Backstrom that will be looking for the finish.
He's arguably the most dangerous offensive force in the NHL right now, and he's been playing like a locomotive lately. It's going to be fun watching him battle against the tough-as-nails Rangers defense.