This is essentially where finishing fourth in the Metropolitan Division pays off for the Rangers. Meanwhile, divisional rivals Pittsburgh and Washington will face off in another classic meeting between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.
His ability to play under pressure earned the 29-year-old the moniker of "Big Game Brass" by the New York Post's Larry Brooks a couple years ago. After taking a pass from Mats Zuccarello, the Rangers captain fired a wrist shot that appeared to change directions before flying past Anderson, who was at least distracted by Chris Kreider in front.
NY took out Atlantic Division champion Montreal in six games in the first round, with three of them decided by one goal and two in overtime.
The Sens held on for the win to take a 1-0 series lead.
However, if the first round against the Bruins told you anything, it is that no lead is safe either way, and it took about 10 minutes, but the Senators capitalized on a rebound that Dzingel lifted to the roof of the net and it was back on even terms which set up the late heroics from the guy Ottawa needs to be the best player in the series if they are going to win it. Ottawa refocused, tied the game, and won it in overtime, knotting up the series at one game a piece. This time, Ottawa is expected to keep the Rangers to a low shot count, and if the Rangers want to win, several of New York's skaters will have to step up their game (both offensively and defensively). Its quite hard to believe that a team that worked so hard to get to where they are now are decided not to show up. Two centres traded for each other last summer, the Rangers Mika Zibanejad against Ottawa's Derick Brassard. However, Zibanejad also missed 25 games during the year due to a broken leg. The third defence pairing has four new players fighting for two spots.
Another concern for Ottawa is the health of their captain, Erik Karlsson. His decision to disclose that he played the first round with two hairline fractures basically amounted to an open invitation for the Rangers to target his left foot. Between games five and six, Karlsson spent 71:44 on the ice. While still not 100 percent, Karlsson's heel has been improving as the postseason progresses.
As I said in my series preview, Karlsson is the X-factor, and he delivered as promised not only with the game victor, but played just a shade under 29 minutes, including the last 2:06 of the game while protecting the one goal lead he provided.
Anderson has been enjoying a good season, boasting a.921 save percentage and a 1.94 goals against average, all while his wife has been battling cancer.
Then again, Lundqvist is one of the best of his era.
Henrik Lundqvist continues his remarkable play and outplays Craig Anderson the way he did Carey Price. His.970 save percentage and 1.70 GAA in the first round leads all Eastern Conference goalies.
Lundqvist played well enough to be the first star of the first game of this series against the Senators.
Adnan: I think it will be much harder because Ottawa has a lot of bad defencemen and the Rangers will not be as troubled breaking out of their zone without many major injuries that the Bruins faced. Under that plan, previous year the Isles would have faced the Rangers in the first round, a matchup we have been waiting for since 1994.
Lundqvist continued his stellar play into the second, making a critical right pad save on Stalberg coming in untouched.
It's been more than five years since Lortie has last been to a Senators game, but she's faithfully watched the team over that time.
Game 2 will be in Canada Saturday afternoon.
The Senators could get a boost from the return of Tom Pyatt, a defensively sound winger who was knocked out of the Bruins series with an upper-body injury in Game 4.