The Rangers lost the battles, but won the war, 1-0 over the Ottawa Senators. This was all due to our All-World goalie Henrik 'The King' Lundqvist. In almost every statistical category the Senators dominated the action. They won 66% of the faceoffs, 29 to 15. They had more hits, 48 to 33. The Senators, of course, had more shots on goal, 39 to 23. More missed shots, 16 to 8. The Rangers did have a slight edge in blocked shots, 21 to 17. However, during the last period the ice was severely tilted in Ottawa's favor. The Senators put 14 shot on goal in the final stanza, the Rangers had 7. The Rangers climbed up on Lundqvist's back and he carried them to victory.
The Rangers lone goal came about because of Dan Girardi's special skill of missing the net with his shots. This time the Girardi bounce off the boards gave Callahan a swipe at the puck that set up the game winner for Boyle. Better lucky than good. For a man who specializes in pounding wood with his shots, these lively Ottawa boards might become Dan Girardi's new best friend.
So how did the college boy, Chris Kreider, do? Thrown into the lion's den of a playoff game, Kreider was okay, after he got past a shaky first period. The 20-year-old, former BC winger finished the game with one shot, one hit, and one giveaway in 11:11 of ice time over 13 shifts. The fact that he got in and held his own is a positive. So for the next couple of games, while he subs for Hagelin, Kreider gets a golden opportunity to impress. I hope he pounces on it, better than that puck that slid by him at the end of the 2nd period.
It's certainly nice that Brain Boyle has elevated his game for the playoffs, but does that mean that Gaborik goes into remission? Gaborik needs to get off the schneid. He had only 1 shot in 17:36 of ice time over 20 shifts. Don't fail us now Gabby.
Anyway, the Rangers are in dog fight for sure. It would be nice if Lundqvist didn't have to do it all by himself.
After Game Three of his team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Ottawa, Rangers head coach John Tortorella raved about the play and leadership of Brian Boyle, who had scored the only goal of Monday's night's defensive struggle.
"He is playing the right way and a lot of guys on this team are following his lead," Tortorella said of Boyle, who has scored a goal in all three games of this series, so far. "That's what he's doing right now. He is leading."
Boyle turned in a monster effort Monday night helping the Rangers take a 2-1 series lead with a 1-0 victory. He scored his third playoff goal early in the third period, his second game-winner already in the post-season. He also led the team with five shots on goal, played shut-down defense, had a huge blocked shot when the Sens were pressing late in the game, and delivered a series of big hits during his 18:55 worth of ice-time to earn the Broadway Hat...