by Patrick Hoffman on 04/26/12 at 11:11 PM ET
For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the New York Rangers are off to the second round after defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1 in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers played “Ranger hockey” by blocking a ton of shots, playing physical, getting timely goal scoring and big-game goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves). It was a style that they need to play tonight in order to win this tilt and luckily, the Rangers were able to implement it perfectly.
For starters, a lot of credit has to be given to the Rangers’ defense. Not only did they block a ton of shots and break up many passes, but they also helped score the only two goals of the game as both Marc Staal and Dan Giradi were able to put the puck in the net in the second period.
The line of Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan also had themselves a terrific game. While he has only played in five NHL games, Kreider is showing that he belongs in the NHL. He has speed, he has size, he has strength and soft hands, all skills that will make him a very, very, good NHLer.
Stepan, after not scoring a point in the first five games of the series, finished up the first round with 5 points (1G 4A). He is playing with a lot more confidence and is getting a lot of scoring chances playing with Callahan and Kreider.
Callahan played like a captain should always play. He played hard, physical and was able to help this team get into the second round of the postseason.
Of course, one cannot forget about the play of Lundqvist. Lundqvist was just about perfect in this game and made a lot of big saves when his team needed him the most.
With the win, the Rangers will now take on the Washington Capitals in the second round. The Capitals are coming off a seven game winning series of their own as they were able to down the Boston Bruins last night in overtime at the TD Garden.
As most Ranger fans probably know, the Capitals have managed to knock out the Rangers in their two previous postseason series’ in 2009 and 2011. The Rangers will certainly be looking to change that this time around.
For now, it is time to enjoy the fact that the Rangers are moving on and are one of the eight teams that is still playing to win hockey’s Holy Grail.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, boston+bruins, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.