by Patrick Hoffman on 04/21/12 at 12:19 PM ET
This is exactly what the case is for the New York Rangers as they get set to take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 tonight at Madison Square Garden.
As a number one seed taking on an eighth seed, the Blueshirts and Senators are tied at two games apiece. While this fact may surprise many of you, it is actually quite easy to see why this series is tied heading into tonight’s huge tilt.
The Senators have been going hard to the net, making life miserable for Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist when it comes to him seeing the puck, and putting a ton of offensive pressure on the Rangers’ defense. They are also finding ways to get back into games when they are losing.
Tonight, the Blueshirts need to take some of the Senators’ game and make it their own. There needs to be more offense, more pressure on Senators’ Craig Anderson and they need to do a better job of sustaining offense in the Senators’ zone.
While all this sounds easy for the Rangers to do, it will not be. Yes, the team will have the home crowd on their side and yes, they are still expected to win this series.
However, the Senators have shown that they are not to be taking lightly. It is not completely out of the question that the Senators win this series and for the Rangers, that should be enough to scare them into playing one of their best games tonight.
No matter how you look at tonight’s Game 5 between the Rangers and Senators, the pressure is all but on the Blueshirts to win tonight’s tilt.
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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.