The New York Rangers know the Ottawa Senators will be better tonight.
After all, the Sens could hardly play worse than they did Tuesday at MSG. The Rangers dominated from the very start and came away with a well-deserved 4-1 win.
That win got the Rangers back in the series, which they now trail 2-1. But a loss tonight would be tough to overcome. Game 5 and, if necessary, Game 7 are in Ottawa, plus New York would have to win a game at home.
“We’re still down 2-1 in the series,” said veteran forward Derek Stepan, per NHL.com. “Game 3 was good, but Game 3 is gone and past now. It doesn’t mean anything. I don’t think we’re going to see the same Ottawa team come out in Game 4, so we better be ready to go right from the start. We’re still chasing the series right now.”
The Senators also need to recognize the situation and draw some motivation from it. They couldn’t match the Rangers’ desperation on Tuesday, and now they’re in danger of letting a 2-0 series lead slip away.
“We have to have the urgency, the battle level that we normally have,” coach Guy Boucher said. “And we’ve gotta match theirs. Because we know that they’ll be home and they’ll most probably display the exact same urgency as they did last game.”
Related: Bobby Ryan ready to go for Game 4