The Rangers defeated the Senators and they did it on their terms. We got to see it all tonight, great goaltending, strong defensive play, heavy forechecking, and physicality without blown calls (for the most part). This one feels good.
On to the scoring…
- The Rangers scored their first goal on a play coaches just love to see – from great defensive work. Early in the second period Kreider made a great defensive play in the neutral zone on Nick Foligno to force a turnover. Cally moved the loose puck up to Stepan who skated into the offensive zone and found Staal open on the weakside. Staal read the rush perfectly, skated uninterrupted into the high slot, and one touched it in.
- Later in the second, the Rangers struck again thanks to another good defensive play. Brandon Dubinsky (Bobby Tux’s favorite player) laid a hit on an Ottawa forward in the defensive zone, which caused a pass to be miss-fired all the way across the ice. Feds collected the puck on the left wing boards and jump started the rush. He fed Prust with a great cross-ice diagonal pass.
- Prust carried the puck into the offensive zone and wisely pulled up along the half boards drawing all of the coverage. Pruster then led Dubi with a little dump pass towards the slot, which Dubi quickly backhanded to Girardi. Girardi, who was completely uncovered, just killed a one-time slapper through Anderson. What a sequence!
- The Senators finally got on board on a power play a little beyond the mid-way point of the second period. The Senators were cycling in our zone and fed Alfie just atop of the faceoff circle. Alfie put one past Henrik on the short side, which initially looked like a bad angle goal, but the replay showed Stralman was screening Hank. Could have sworn I’ve written that once before in these recaps…
From there on out the Rangers were able to defend the Senators late surge and Henrik stood tall as usual. Next up the Rangers will play the Capitals where they’ll look to avenge their last two playoff exits. Over the next few days we will be sure to breakdown the Capitals with systems posts, goalie analysis, etc. Stay tuned!