Originally written on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 11/9/14

NEW YORK - MARCH 15: Mike Richards #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Dan Girardi #5 of the New York Rangers fight on March 15, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.The Rangers defeated the Flyers 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Through the first three games of the Rangers/Senators series, Ottawa's top scorers Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek have combined for just two assists. The reason? Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh.

Here's Girardi and McDonagh's teammates on their importance to the team's success (via NHL.com)...

Brad Richards...

"Everybody's had a shot playing against them at different times during the series, but probably the biggest thing is Girardi and McDonagh. They're a good d-pair and they face top guys all year. They're out there the most."

Henrik Lundqvist...

"They've been doing a really good job. They're a really skilled line and they can make a lot of good plays. You can't give them too much room, too much respect. I think both 'G' and McDonagh have just been playing their game, playing physical, playing smart."

Brian Boyle...

"They've been huge. The minutes they play, it's crazy."

Girardi leads the League in blocked shots with 17 during the playoffs while McDonagh is tied for ninth with eight.

...they've been one of the, if not the, best shutdown pairs all year so this should come as no surprise, but with how the Rangers offense has been struggling their excellence is that much more magnified.

...Girardi looked like he hit the wall at the end of the season, but thankfully it hasn't carried over into the plays as he's been sensational.

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