Entering a do or die Game 6, Rangers center Derick Brassard knew he had to be better. In fact, he and Derek Stepan were challenged by coach Alain Vigneault. Both responded with stellar efforts. Even though Stepan didn’t register a point, he was chippy going after Steven Stamkos following an unpenalized hit from behind on Ryan McDonagh.
But it was Brassard who responded with a big performance recording his first career playoff hat trick to go with two helpers en route to a five-point night highlighting the Rangers’ 7-3 win over the Lightning forcing Game 7 at MSG on Friday. Along with cohesive linemates J.T. Miller (1-3-4) and Rick Nash (1-3-4), they dominated the Bolts combining for five goals and eight assists in the Blueshirts’ big win.
With the three goals and two assists, Brassard takes over the team lead in scoring with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points. Big Game Brass delivered.