The Rangers’ top center, Derek Stepan has been playing with two of the most dynamic wingers in the game today. So far in the first round matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers, Stepan has produced two goals and one assist. The 51st overall selection of the 2008 NHL Draft has also represented Team USA on the international stage, having played in the World Junior Championships, World Championships and 2014 Winter Olympics. TFR’s Scott Charles had a chance to catch up with Stepan at practice prior to game four:
* HAVE YOU MADE ANY ADJUSTMENTS TO YOUR GAME PLAYING WITH RICK NASH AND MARTIN ST. LOUIS?
Obviously with Marty there is a definitely an adjustment that is a pretty easy adjustments. That is just getting him the puck. He’s so dynamic and does so many things to create space for me. Nash has been doing his thing all year. My job is simple; get these guys the puck with some space. Also to do some other things that help teams win games such as winning puck battles, getting these guys the puck in space and they will take care of the rest.
* WHAT HAS THE FOURTH LINE MEANT TO THE TEAM THIS POST-SEASON?
Forget about the postseason talk about the entire season. Those guys have been doing their thing all year. They have been a big part of our success down the stretch. In the postseason you are starting to see the effect that they have had. In my eyes they have been a huge part of our hockey club.
* DO YOU FEED OFF OF THE MOMENTUM AFTER A BIG PENALTY KILL?
Special teams are a huge part of the game. Our penalty kill has done a great job at getting the job done. Of course after big momentum swings like that it gives the team a ton of energy. That is something going forward that will have to be a big part of our success.
* WHAT CHALLENGES DOES FLYERS GOALIE STEVE MASON BRING?
We are not changing much. We are going to do the things that made us successful in games one and three. That is what our focus is. To make sure we are playing the way we need to.
* DOES A DESPERATION FACTOR ENTER INTO YOUR GAME KNOWING YOU CAN TAKE A COMMANDING LEAD IN THIS SERIES?
I do not think it changes from game 1 to game 4. I think we need to do the same things we have done and have had success with. That is our mindset going into Philadelphia. We have to make sure we are focused and competing for 60 minutes.