by Patrick Hoffman on 04/14/12 at 11:43 PM ET
That can be said when it comes to tonight’s New York Rangers’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden tonight.
After tying the game on a Nick Foligno goal with just over five minutes to go in the hockey game, the Senators went onto to score just over a minute into overtime on a goal by Chris Neil to tie the series 1-1. Given that the Rangers have always played well with a lead heading into the third period, this was not the way they wanted to end the hockey game.
For the most part, the team seemed to sit back in the third period tonight. The Senators outshot and outscored the Rangers in the final frame and seemed to keep the puck deep in the Rangers’ zone for long periods of time.
The Rangers’ power play also hurt them in this hockey game. Although the team did score once on the power play tonight (defenseman Anton Stralman), they were not able to cash in on their three other opportunities, including a five minute penalty to Senators’ defenseman Matt Carkner.
The Senators were also successful tonight because they were able to match the Rangers’ physicality throughout the game. The Senators finished their checks, took the body at all costs and made it feel like that it was an absolute war on the ice, which is what Stanley Cup Playoff hockey is all about.
This game should have been much different for the Rangers. The Blueshirts had 32 shots on goal, blocked 25 Senators’ shots and had the lead for much of the third period.
Because this is playoff hockey, however, things can change in a heartbeat and for the Rangers tonight, it changed in a bad way. The rest of the series is not going to be easy and the Rangers need to be prepared for that.
The team will head to Ottawa to get set for Game 3 on Monday night. With the series tied, Scotiabank place is going to be jumping in two nights as the teams battle it out in what should be another rough and tough hockey game.
Hopefully for the Rangers, things will be different in a good way on Monday 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.