New York Rangers' Most Impressive Players in Eastern Conference Final So Far

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIMay 26, 2014

New York Rangers' Most Impressive Players in Eastern Conference Final So Far

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    The New York Rangers find themselves one game away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

    Up 3-1 against the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final, the Rangers have relied heavily on Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh and Martin St. Louis.

    But while it is easy to wax poetic about those players, they are not the only reason the Rangers are in this position.

    Other than those three, who have been the Rangers' most impressive players in the Eastern Conference Final so far?

    Read on to find out.

Brian Boyle

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    Brian Boyle is the lead penalty-killer on a unit that has held the Habs to just one power-play goal, despite Montreal having a remarkable eight chances in Game 3.

    He wins faceoffs—52.5 percent in the postseason—blocks shots and clears the puck.

    He even sprung Carl Hagelin for a short-handed goal.

    Boyle is an impending unrestricted free agent. He's set to make himself a lot of money as a lockdown pivot. A team like Edmonton or Nashville or Florida could find Boyle very attractive.

    But for the Rangers, Boyle is an essential player, and they will need him to continue to play at a high level the rest of the way. 

Carl Hagelin

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    Hagelin led all forwards in ice time in Game 4, with nearly 24 minutes. He scored a short-handed goal and had the primary assist on the game-winning goal.

    Hagelin has consistently been the Rangers' best forward. His speed has given the Habs fits all series. The Rangers have taken to double-shifting the Swede on the fourth line.

    This is the best Hagelin has played in his career. His speed is dynamic, whether on the penalty kill or on the forecheck.

    "He has to be one of the fastest guys in the league," Cam Talbot told Craig Custance of ESPN The Magazine. "Hag has good hands. Most guys that skate that fast can't keep up with their hands. He's kind of got it all. He's got great vision, great hockey sense and he's a great force on the PK. He pretty much does it all for us."

    His speed has been a difference-maker for the Rangers, and he has quickly established himself as indispensable for the Rangers. 

Kevin Klein

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    Kevin Klein doesn't play a ton of minutes, but he makes the most of them.

    In 18 games, Klein has four points and is plus-seven. 

    In Game 4, he had two shots and joined the rush a number of times. 

    He's the type of solid, all-around player teams need to win. He throws his body around, has a hard shot and always makes the right pass.

    Klein was a second-pair defenseman in Nashville. He used to average over 20 minutes a game in the Music City.

    It's a different story here, with Klein playing under 14 minutes a game. But he makes them count and gives the Rangers a big boost when he is on the ice.