Rangers captain Ryan Callahan was voted the winner of the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award prior to Friday's 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
It's no surprise that Callahan earned the honor as he has been the Rangers' heart and soul all season and wears the captain's 'C' well.
Named in honor of the NYPD police officer who became a quadriplegic after a shooting in 1986, the McDonald Extra Effort Award is the most prestigious of all the team awards the Rangers present.
The Rangers established the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award in his honor following the 1987–88 season. Each year, McDonald, a lifelong Rangers fans, personally presents a Ranger with a trophy and a $25,000 check in the player's name made out to the Steven McDonald Foundation.
This is third time that Callahan has won the honor as he also was named the Extra Effort Award winner in 2009 and 2010.
Henrik Lundqvist won his 38th game, tying a career high. Rene Bourque scored with 2:29 left in spoil the shutout bid.
After the goal, the fans at the Garden serenaded the Canadiens with chants of "Last place!" Montreal never has finished last in its storied history.
Meanwhile, the Rangers are playing the shut-down defense that allowed them to move to the top of the NHL standings in the first place. They allowed only only five shots in the final period., all in the last seven minutes
New York took over first place in the NHL with 107 points, one more than St. Louis.
The Rangers won their 50th game, reaching the mark for only the third time in franchise history. They won 50 games in 1991-92 and 52 games in 1993-94.
New York has won four straight and six of its last seven games. The Rangers remaind five points ahead of Pittsburgh, which cooled off Buffalo 4-3 on Friday, with four games remaining.
Marian Gaborik scored his 39th goal, leaving him one shy of his second 40-goal season with the Rangers. Only two Rangers have multiple 40-goals seasons: Jean Ratelle and Mike Gartner.
The Rangers' power play continues to show signs of life as Brad Richards and Michael Del Zotto scored with the man advantage, giving New York nine power-play goals in the last 11 games. The Rangers also had a pair of power-play goals in Wednesday's 4-2 win in Winnipeg.
Del Zotto scored the Rangers' final goal Friday, giving him his first career two-goal game.
Happy birthday to the Hockey Maven, Stan Fischler, who turns 80 years old on Saturday.