Game in a Sentence
There may have been more fireworks than people expected from a Senators/Rangers tilt, but the number one seed showed us why they are just that with a dominating 2.5 periods.
- A good pace and lots of physical play in this one. Both teams took plenty of runs at each other and were skating plenty hard from the opening whistle.
- The Rangers generated the better chances early on as their play on the forecheck and along the boards got the better of the Senators in the back end. Most of the Rangers success all season has come as a result of their work ethic and it showed tonight.
- Following up on that point, the opening goal from the Rangers came from strong work down low and a smart play along the sides. Good on Anton Stralman (#thingsneversaidbefore) for recognizing Callahan was headed to the net and keeping the shot low for a rebound.
- I knew these teams had developed a little bit of history this season but the game was all in all much nastier than I expected for a game one tilt. They came out hitting the way I expected Philly and Pittsburgh to come out hitting, not New York and Ottawa.
- The Richards hit on Condra, in my view, looked an awful lot like Claude Giroux’s hit on Brooks Orpik last night. The facial cut can be attributed to the angle of the boards down there. Definitely should have been two minutes, nothing more. Unfortunately it led to a goal, but I can see why it was missed. Nothing obviously malicious happened and both refs were in opposing corners to the play.
- Craig Anderson made some absolutely crucial saves during the second period. Obviously the Sens entered the intermission down three goals, but it could have easily been five or more had he not stood on his head. If the Sens go down quickly, I would be stunned if it was because of goaltending.
- The two goals aside, I thought the Sens looked really tired to end the game. The problem with a team like the Rangers is they will wear you down slowly and Ottawa fought hard enough as it is to make it in. I worry about how much they have left in the tank.
- I’m sure they’ll definitely be tired if Brian Boyle punches more of them in the head.
- To counter my previous point, the two late goals are a pick me up for Ottawa. I thought they needed to end the game strong to have some momentum going in to game two. The pair in the last 10 minutes give them a reason to think they can hang with the Rangers even though at times the game was totally tilted against them. They didn’t mean anything to the series straight away but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Sens quick out of the gate in game two.
My Three Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan
2) Henrik Lundqvist
3) Brad Richards