Ryan did provide an assist, on Erik Karlsson's critical second-period goal that snuffed out a Rangers rally and extended the Senators' lead to 3-1. But it was his three blocked shots -- including two in the first period, when he flung his body in front of the puck -- that drew raves from his teammates and coach after the game.
"That's one of those things, where guys are paying the price to win hockey games," goaltender Craig Anderson said. "Even though it was in the first period, it set the tone for our defensive zone coverage."
The star's selfless play epitomized Ottawa's team-wide, team-first approach, said Senators coach Guy Boucher.
"When your high-end skill guys are ready to pay the price, it's because they don't care who gets the credit, and it's all about everybody else, not themselves," Boucher said. "And I think that's been the strength of our group since the beginning of the season, not just the playoffs."
Ryan said he was simply doing his job. "There are more fun things to do out there, but tonight it was my turn to get in front of them," he said.
This hasn't been a particularly fun season for Ryan, at least on a personal level. The 30-year-old winger, who was selected No. 2 overall in the 2005 draft by the Anaheim Ducks, scored 30-plus goals in four consecutive seasons from 2008 to '12.
Ryan's goal output dipped after he was traded to the Senators in 2013, but he scored just 13 goals in 62 games this season, his lowest total since he netted five in 23 games in his rookie year.
Boucher, who is in his first season with the Senators, is a defensive-minded coach -- which meant a role adjustment for Ryan, among others.
"I think at times it was trying," Ryan said. "Coach had identified me as a player who was gonna have to change some things for our team to be better. And I accepted that, through the highs and the lows this year -- there was certainly more lows, and you wanna be more offensive.
"Being a guy who was in front of the net and a little more responsible defensively, those were things I had some growing pains with. But I'd trade all that offense [to be] where we are, and I'm very, very happy for that."
Ryan wasn't the only one doing the dirty work in Game 6. The Senators had 20 blocked shots as a team (compared to just seven for the Rangers), by 13 different players. Ryan was tied for the team high with three, along with Karlsson, Ottawa's captain. But Ryan collected his in nearly 12 minutes less time on the ice.
He didn't score during the series against the Rangers. But Ryan had four goals in Ottawa's first-round matchup against the Boston Bruins, so he's doing his fair share offensively, too.
There were no wild locker room celebrations after the series-clinching victory over the Rangers, at least not while the media were allowed inside. In fact, Ryan was still thinking and talking about Game 6 from a critical perspective.
"We're in a good place, we feel good about our game," he said. "We'll probably review that third [period, though], and look at some things that we did. But really, you know that [the Rangers] are gonna throw everything at you."
That's the kind of quote that makes a coach happy, but Boucher was already quite pleased with Ryan and his teammates.
"They've built a lot of trust in each other, and they deserve what's happening to them," Boucher said. "Because they did what they needed to do and they stuck together. And yeah, I'm real proud of them."