by Patrick Hoffman on 04/16/12 at 11:16 AM ET
While the team will be without one of its better offensive players for three games due to a suspension, the New York Rangers are set to take on the Ottawa Senators tonight in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.
The team found out yesterday that the NHL suspended Carl Hagelin for three games due to his hit to Ottawa Senators’ forward Daniel Alfredsson. Hagelin did not intend to injure a player he idolized but nevertheless, he did knock Alfredsson out for the rest of Game 2, which the Senators went onto win 3-2 in overtime.
This is a series that has gotten nasty and will more than likely be so tonight. Senators’ defenseman Matt Carkner was also suspended 1 game for “inflicting punishment on an unwilling combatant” in Brian Boyle just over two minutes into Saturday night’s tilt.
As Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella mentioned yesterday, the momentum is going to change throughout this series. Right now, with the series tied and getting back on the ice tonight at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, the momentum might just be in the Senators’ favor.
With that said, however, the Rangers could just as easily be up 2-0 heading into tonight’s game. The team played more than well enough to win on Saturday night in Game 2 but they could not hold onto the 2-1 lead and then the eventual game winner by Senators’ forward Chris Neil.
The Blueshirts need to continue to play within themselves because as Tortorella also mentioned yesterday, the team does not need to make any adjustments. The club needs to continue going hard to the net, continue throwing pucks at Senators’ netminder Craig Anderson and continue to play disciplined.
Should the Rangers carry out those three plans of action tonight, they would deserve to be up 2-1 in the series heading into Game 4 on Wednesday night.
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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 email@example.com.