Rangers' playoff motto: "Above and Beyond: Earn it"

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
11:48
PM ET
The New York Rangers drew on some special inspiration for this year's playoff motto, choosing the phrase: "Above and Beyond: Earn It."

The motto pays homage to Steven McDonald, the NYPD police officer for whom the annual Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is named.

The honor is awarded to one player each year who is deemed to go "above and beyond the call of duty," as voted by the fans.

This year's winner was feisty forward and fan favorite Mats Zuccarello.

McDonald was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty in July of 1986.

The Rangers had a poster in the room emblazoned with the message. Underneath the motto? An outline of the Stanley Cup, cut into 16 different segments -- symbolizing each win needed to take home hockey's ultimate prize.

A 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers allowed the Rangers to plug in the first part of that puzzle Thursday night.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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