Rangers-Chris Kreider: Elevated off of the fourth line, and given the chance to play with Rick Nash late in Game Three and then through all of Game Four, Kreider played his best hockey of these playoffs---culminating in his game-winning goal in overtime which kept the Blueshirts season alive. An extremely skilled offensive talent, Kreider has shown a flair for rising to the occasion on the big stage of the playoffs. Three of his six career post-season goals have been game winners. While he is still figuring out different aspects of the game at the NHL level, there is no doubt that Kreider is an elite skilled forward, one with tremendous speed, one of the best shots on the team, and a new willingness to play physically. It will be interesting to see if Kreider gains confidence from his big goal, and, if so, how that may make him a difference maker in Game Five. You just know the Boxford, MA native, and former Boston College star, would love to shine inside TD Garden in Boston on Saturday afternoon.
Bruins: Nathan Horton: Many outsiders point to Milan Lucic as the power forward most to fear on the Bruins, but the 6 foot 2, 230 pound Horton is a force to be reckoned with, and is in the midst of an excellent post-season run. Horton has been both extremely physical and offensively productive, so far. Through 11 post-season games, Horton has five goals and six assists, averaging a point per game. He scored a goal and contributed an assist on Thursday and is 1-3-4 in this series vs. New York. A frightening concussion shortened Horton's 2011-12 season to 46 games, and he missed the entire 2012 post-season after a stellar 2011 playoff in which he totaled 17 points in 21 games, helping the Bruins win the Stanley Cup. Horton scored 13 goals during this lockout-shortened season, but he has proven to be a big-time playoff performer again, with strong showings against the Maple Leafs and Rangers.