Tag: Senators-Rangers 2012


Discuss: Rangers look like a No. 1 seed vs. Senators


In Sidney Crosby’s first playoff series, the Pittsburgh Penguins squeaked into the playoffs before being dismantled by a dangerous Ottawa Senators team. While the parallels aren’t flawless, one couldn’t help but get a similar “fish out of water” feeling now that the Sens are the inexperienced eighth seed against an established No. 1 – in this case the New York Rangers. John Tortorella’s bunch handled Ottawa about as easily as one could expect in the playoffs, taking Game 1 by what some will call a misleadingly close score of 4-2.

Feel free to run with your own notions in the comments, but here are a few points to consider:

  • Marian Gaborik had a beauty of a goal to put up the Rangers 2-0 at the time. Where does the Gaborik-Brad Richards-Carl Hagelin (Hagelin optional) line rank in your eyes? Top five in playoff trios? Better or worse?
  • The Rangers are obviously happy to have a healthy Ryan Callahan in the postseason. Where does he rank among the be league’s best leaders?
  • New York more or less cruised tonight, but it’s still just one game. Can Ottawa make a series of this?
  • Speaking of which, what kind of adjustments would you make if your were Senators head coach Paul MacLean? Would you have any doubts about Craig Anderson’s chances of overcoming some significant talent deficits?
  • Should John Tortorella be concerned about overconfidence creeping in on a club that succeeded in large part by out-working opponents?

Series at a glance: NY Rangers-Ottawa playoff preview

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers


All times are Eastern.

* – if necessary

Thursday April 12 in New York @ 7 p.m. (NHL Network, CBC)
Saturday April 14 in New York @ 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, CBC)
Monday April 16 in Ottawa @ 7:30 p.m. (CNBC, CBC)
Wednesday April 18 in Ottawa @ 7:30 p.m. (CNBC, CBC)
*Saturday April 21 in New York @ 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, CBC)
*Monday April 23 in Ottawa @ TBD (TBD)
*Thursday April 26 in New York @ TBD (TBD)

Three storylines to follow

1. Is Henrik Lundqvist going to be his Vezina-caliber self? For years, Lundqvist carried an inferior team to playoff berths and then wore down once the postseason rolled around. There’s a much better team in front of him and he’s as well-rested as he’s ever been in April, but his late-season injury and shaky tune-up game against Washington could be cause for concern.

2. Ottawa’s kiddie corps. Jared Cowen, Erik Karlsson, Kyle Turris, Nick Foligno, Colin Greening and Erik Condra are all 25 or younger and have almost no playoff experience to speak of (Foligno leads all, with 10 games.) How will they stack up against a well-coached, experienced and hard-nosed No. 1 seed?

3. Strength vs. strength: The Rangers are better than they’ve been in a long time on offense, but their identity still revolves around stout defense, all-world goaltending and relentless effort. Could an explosive Ottawa offense create just enough havoc to throw a balanced Rangers team … out of balance?


NY Rangers: 51-24-7, 109 points (1st in Atlantic; 1st in Eastern Conference) | Ottawa: 41-31-10, 92 points (2nd in Northeast; 8th in Eastern Conference)

Leading scorers

NY Rangers: Marian Gaborik (41G-35A-76PTS) | Ottawa: Jason Spezza (34G-50A-84PTS)

Starting goalies

NY Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist (39-18-5, 1.97 GAA) | Ottawa: Craig Anderson (33-22-6, 2.83 GAA)


Ottawa won series 3-1
Oct. 29: Ottawa 5, at NY Rangers 4, SO
Nov. 9: NY Rangers 3, at Ottawa 2
Jan. 12: Ottawa 3, at NY Rangers 0
March 8: At Ottawa 4, NY Rangers 1

Last 10 games

NY Rangers: 6-4-0 | Ottawa: 4-6-0

Playoff history

First meeting

2011 playoffs

NY Rangers: Lost to Washington 4-1 (Eastern Conference quarterfinals) | Ottawa: Did not qualify

Stanley Cups

NY Rangers: 4 (1928, 1933, 1940, 1994) | Ottawa: None


NY Rangers: Mats Zuccarello (wrist), Steve Eminger (ankle) and Michael Sauer (concussion). (Maybe Lundqvist’s arm, too?)

Ottawa: Chris Neil (upper body) and Peter Regin (shoulder).

Playoff matchups: Rangers draw surprise Senators

Henrik Lundqvist

The New York Rangers probably expected to face either the Florida Panthers or Washington Capitals in the first round, yet a busy Saturday shuffled things in interesting ways. They’ll instead face the eighth seed Ottawa Senators thanks in part to the Blueshirts’ decisive 4-1 loss to the Caps and Ottawa’s own 4-2 defeat at the hands of the New Jersey Devils.

It’s an interesting strength vs. strength (and perhaps weakness vs. weakness?) matchup. The Rangers have a great defensive system and an even better goalie in Henrik Lundqvist while Ottawa’s high-powered offense features Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek.

This should also be a showcase of Jack Adams-worthy candidates as fiery John Tortorella hopes to ward off Detroit Red Wings coaching tree product (and wonderfully moustachioed) bench boss Paul MacLean.

The Rangers are likely to be heavy favorites in this one, but chew on this: the Senators took three out of four games in the season series. Is that enough to sway your vote or should the Rangers advance as heavy favorites?