Rangers rob Sens; Recap

April 16, 2012, by

The Rangers gutted out a 1-0 victory over the Sens as both teams proved a low scoring game can be absorbing. Above all it was a goalie duel but the Rangers withstood heavy pressure, particularly in the third and rode their goalie and Brian Boyle to a 1-0 win. A great playoff game; let’s get to the game hits.

We’re doing things a little differently from here on in. The recaps will be a little briefer (I’m trying, honest….) and then one of the team will breakdown the goals in a little more detail for each game. So here goes. 

First Period

Sorry Glen, while starting Kreider was correct, it also showed how much John Scott was a waste of a draft pick. If he wasn’t seriously considered for this edgy, potentially nasty game then he was never going to be needed.

Earning your dues: Kreider may have started on the top line (in place of Hagelin) but during the early Rangers powerplay he didn’t get any time with the extra man. That kind of ice time has to be earned.

The period had a scrappy feel to it. Both teams struggled to  handle the puck well but the Rangers were especially inept in the possession stakes midway through the first allowing the Sens to get a few shots on Lundqvist and build some sustained pressure without being particularly threatening.

Brian Boyle’s line created two great chances with about 11 minutes elapsed in the first. Thanks to great board play and excellent pressure on the puck Boyle and Fedotenko both had great looks on Anderson in front. The shift epitomized the form Boyle is in; he was quick to the puck with his line looking dangerous. Brandon Prust was sharp throughout.

Great first from Callahan but you assumed that, I’m sure. He made plays on the penalty kill, was engaged physically (as always) and created a turnover late on and tried to feed the puck to the top of the crease but it got deflected. He always seems to be involved and always makes the right decision.

The first period was physical, as you would expect. No one missed an opportunity to finish a check; there were a few scrums and a few (at best) borderline hits such as the Michalek on Prust hit, from behind.

While the Sens got several shots on Lundqvist (12 in total), they were mostly from the perimeter and Lundqvist’s rebound control was excellent; anything he didn’t gobble up was diverted to the corners.

Biggest frustration of the period was the Rangers’ two on one when Fedotenko elected to pass which Karlsson managed to get in front of, close in. Karlsson clearly gave up the shot and Fedotenko couldn’t have been in a better position yet chose to pass.

Second Period

Solid start to the second period for the Rangers offense. Generated several opportunities; forced several turnovers, and got one great shift from the top line.

The Rangers had a few minutes in the middle of the second where they were scrambling around and the Sens were controlling the play but the Richards line got some sustained pressure 10 minutes in, generated a few chances and showed excellent ability to retain and recycle the puck.

The Rangers had a huge chance to score in the second half of the period as Prust streaked to the front of the net and saw his shot saved by a sprawling Anderson. The rebound was put back on net and caused a review but the play was deemed no goal. Somehow it stayed out. It was a great cross-crease feed from Boyle that caused the chance.

As the second period was in its latter stages the pace was frantic with chances at both ends. Both goalies were sharp, with a few highlight reel saves by both Anderson and Lundqvist who was excellent through two. Exhibit A: the Rangers second powerplay of the game was poor (poor movement, little pressure) until late on when Anderson absolutely robbed Dubinsky from in front off of a broken play.

Following some Sens pressure Gaborik got the puck, used his speed to enter the Sens zone on the right, pulled up and found Richards whose shot broke to Kreider parked in front and only smart defensive play by Kuba (lifted Kreider’s stick) denied Kreider a debut goal. It was nice to see Kreider go to the net, a different dynamic to the top line.

Third Period

The Rangers began the third period scrambling around in their own zone. The Sens created a ton of pressure because they simply managed the puck better. The Sens had a partial break away early in the third which was broken up by a smart diving play by Stralman who was having a solid game defensively.

After seven minutes of the third Lundqvist had made multiple spectacular plays to keep the Sens at bay. He was sharp and focussed; evidenced by a save off a deflected shot right in front which was harder than it looked.

Sucker Punch. Perhaps the first time the Rangers were able to get deep in the Sens zone they scored a huge goal as a funny rebound off the backboards came to Brian Boyle in front who chipped it high over Anderson. In games this tight it’s often a strange break that leads to a goal and that happened from the deep shot, bouncing to Boyle.

The Rangers goal didn’t change much as the ice was clearly titled towards the Rangers end throughout the third.

Brian Boyle – playoff monster. Forces the breakaway on the penalty kill with great pressure, gets a good chance on the back handed and draws a penalty. How many times can I say it, Boyle has been brilliant recently and in this game. Not just for his goals. His shift to spring Callahan on a breakaway later in the third was heroic and skilled all in one shift.

The Senators threw everything at the Rangers late on but only one team can have Henrik Lundqvist who made a ton of saves through traffic.

The Broadway hat clearly deserved two owners after tonight’s game. Brian Boyle put on one of the best all round performances in several playoff seasons while Lundqvist was literally perfect. Positionally sound, he was a wall. The Rangers gave up a ton of possession but stole one on the road. 


  1. Walt says:

    Boyle for the scoreing champianship???

    We’ll take a one -zip game, and run like a thief. Hank stole this game, who is that masked man????????

    The last ten minutes were like the last two games, and my stomach is twisted in knots, but who cares!!

  2. cnp says:

    Lundqvist was beyond perfect. There isn’t an adjective to describe his play tonight

  3. Dan says:

    This game was huge on many levels. The obvious is going up 2-1 in the series. But I feel that as a young team, they’ve needed to learn how to win these low-scoring games in the PLAYOFFS going forward, not just regular season. HUGE win, lets get back at em Wednesday night.

  4. Jeff P says:

    Some observations:
    1. The Rangers stole one (for a change)
    2. Boyle – best (non-goalie) player on the ice
    3. Kreider was lost on first line – but…
    4. … that allowed Rangers to roll 4 effective lines leading to this:
    5. I thought Rupp played his best game since… Winter Classic? Maybe all year. He’s slow as molasses but he can handle the stick.
    6. Staal needs to regroup. Badly.
    7. Stralman was good.

    The Rangers need to pick it up. They are not going to shut everyone out, I thought Ottawa outplayed them the last 6 periods.

  5. Rickyrants13 says:

    PP time has to do with playing as a unit more then earning your time. To think he would get time just because he is a high draft pick would be foolish.

  6. SteveD says:

    Let’s not forget the incredible save by Bickel..game saver in my mind!

    • Dave says:

      At first I thought Hank got that, but Bickel definitely saved the game.

      Stralman too, espeically on that shift right before Boyle’s goal.

  7. sean says:

    Kreider looked timid and lost. He was doing things like having one hand on his stick, avoiding contact and he was afraid of the defensive end. I feel for the kid but he’s gotta figure some things out fast

    • agentsmith says:

      accurate assessment of his first period. 2nd period he looked a lot better. as richards said no real practice time btwn those three.

  8. Chris F says:

    Great, much needed win.

    If things go deep, Boyle is going to be a huge reason. Ge has the two game-winning goals (and would have had a third in game 2and had the Rangers not blown a late lead), he’s be physical and combative, and he’s making plays, such as springing Callahan for the breakaway. Playoff MVP potential if he keeps up this energy.

    I thought Krieder handled himself well for a NHL debut in the playoffs. He’s a strong skater, and was positionally sound. His back-checking on one of his last shifts showed great hustle and vision. However, he needs to play the body more, as he was very timid on the boards when trying to cut guys off from the puck. He had some work to do, but really can’t be any more pleased with his play given the situation.

    Very big win, hope the boys bring some more offense next game though.

    • Chris F says:

      I really don’t like posting from my phone.

      • Justin says:

        Nice analysis on Kreider, Chris. That’s pretty much exactly how I saw his performance. His skills were extremely noticeable, but you can tell he’s never gone into the corner with men before…

        • Chris F says:

          Yea, he was definitely a little intimidated on the boards. He’ll learn, he has the size.

  9. HARLEMBLUES says:

    This PP must produce. We aren’t the 2011 Bruins. First stop passing the puck around the perimeter,from down low up to the Dman on the same side to the man up top in the middle to the Dman on the other side and then down low on that side. The other team dosen’t have to move just follow the puck around the perimeter or just turn their heads.The puck must move weak to strong side so the D has to move their bodies from strong side to weak, which will open up passing with good spacing and some in the high slot to force to honor the space. you must make the D move side to side, turn, go left then right and find the seam to shoot or pass.

    • Scully says:

      I agree with you about the power play, but we did look an awful lot like the 2011 Bruins last night.

  10. agentsmith says:

    kreider looked lost in the first and i thought in the second showed why he is a #1 prospect.

  11. Dave says:

    Just a scheduling note: since there was only one goal and Chris broke it down nicely here, there won’t be a separate goal breakdown post. No real need for one.

  12. Bobby Tuxxx says:

    I thought Dubinsky played great. Maybe I will stop burning candle wax over the collage of him that I have setup in my basement.

    • Bobby Tux says:

      he will flip with Stepan for game 4

      The second line was a downgrade with DUMBINKY on it. Stepan is a much better player except for physical aspect.

  13. Mikeyyy says:

    It only gets better from here.

    If Gabby can fight through the checks, keep his feet moving, he will start drawing penalties. He peeled off too many times instead of driving forward and taking the hit.

    Stralman had a monster game, played well and elevated his game, he looked like a stud out there blocking shots, making good plays with the puck and taking strong shots through traffic.

    Funny how the Boyle line come playoff time makes Glen Sather signing him for so much look so good. I remember people complained about the money he was making… I don’t see any of those people now.

    The powerplay will produce when we crash the net. You gotta get guys in front. Boyle should be on that first pp unit, plant himself in front of the Sens goalie and get some attention.

    • Rich a says:

      Overall, we have to be much more physical. We are playing too timidly. We are a much more physical team, but the NHL evened it up for OTT. Absolutley we need to crash the net like Ott did, and They have been keeping a two player screen on Hank. Next game, if anyone gets near Hank, WE need to send a message bcak. LGR.