by Patrick Hoffman on 04/12/12 at 11:50 PM ET
Coming into the series between the New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators, no one really knew what to expect except for what was on paper.
In Game 1 tonight at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers showed their fans and the league why they finished where they did in defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 4-2. For a Senators team that had dominated the Blueshirts at MSG the last few seasons, this was a nice change for Blueshirts’ fans.
There are several reasons why the Rangers won tonight’s game. For starters, the team got goals from players that are supposed to score goals. Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, and Brad Richards all scored for the Blueshirts while the team also got a goal from hard-working forward Brian Boyle.
The team’s defense was also terrific for the Rangers’ tonight. As expected, the team came out and blocked a lot of shots, broke up a lot of passes, and let their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist see the puck.
Speaking of Lundqvist, he was solid in making 30 saves on 32 Senators’ shots. There is no doubt that he kept the team in the lead at 1-0 in the first 10 minutes of the second period and in general, made the big saves when the team needed him to do so.
The Senators were by no means terrible tonight but they did show why they finished eighth in the Eastern Conference. There was not enough defensive coverage in front of their netminder Craig Anderson and the team struggled to get quality scoring chances from in front of their net, which is exactly where the Rangers did their damage tonight in scoring four goals from the slot area.
With all of that said folks, remember, this was just Game 1. The Blueshirts still need to play three more games and if they can play exactly the way they did tonight for the rest of the series, it should be a successful one for the Rangers and their fans.
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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.