The Rangers were pumped up heading into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, but their confidence was tempered after the Washington Capitals dictated play in the first ten minutes of the game. The Rangers would eventually find their swagger and found themselves leading 1-0 into the second period at Verizon Center.
Penalties turned out to be the Rangers downfall in Game 1 as they gave the Caps 5 powerplay opportunities. After the 4th penalty was taken, Alex Ovechkin (no surprise here) cashed in after the puck bounced right to him off the end boards following a Mike Green blast from the point. The Capitals went on to win the game 3-1 and took a 1-0 series lead. But, one game does not make a series and the Rangers are still very much alive.
Below you can find what I took out of game one from the viewpoint of a Rangers fan and surprisingly, it’s not as bad as it seems…..
- The Rangers had quality scoring chances and if not for Braden Holtby, this is easily a 3-3 game.
- Carl Hagelin did not seem to be playoff shy in the least as he was literally flying around the ice all night long causing tons of problems for the Caps.
- Rick Nash created tons of offense and quality for New York in his debut playoff appearance for the Blueshirts. 8 shots on goal.
- John Moore had a ton of energy and showed off fantastic speed. Wish we could have seen more than 14:26 of it.
- Henrik Lundqvist, so strong in the opening 20 minutes, had an absolute horrid second period, letting in two stoppable goals potted home by Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera.
- Penalties. The Rangers need to play this series 5 vs 5 and cannot afford to spend as much time in the box as they did last night.
- On a team that struggles to score at times, why is newcomer Derick Brassard getting only 12:08 of ice time in a close contest?
- I cannot even remember the last time the Rangers were out-blocked on defense. Capitals had 25 blocked shots to the Rangers 15.
Around The NHL
Ottawa Senators v.s. Montreal Canadiens (Sens lead 1-0)
Backed by a superb effort from goaltender Craig Anderson, the Senators rolled over the Canadiens in a 4-2 victory. The most important thing that the Sens can take away from this game is that they won in the Bell Centre, which is considered to be one of the most difficult arenas to visit in the league.
The Canadiens came out flat-footed, and have now lost one of their offensive weapons. After receiving a “suicide pass” from defensemen Raphael Diaz, Eric Gryba delivered a devastating blow to Lars Eller. It wasn’t really the hit that gave Eller damage, it was the fall. Ellers’ face smacked against the ice and he had to be stretchered off and taken to the hospital. Gryba was suspended 2 games for his actions by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
If you want to be the judge, here is the video of the hit below:
Here is what occurred today, as Brandon Prust addressed the media:
“It’s a dirty hit. I’ve watched it over and over. He has the choice to hit him on his front shoulder but he chooses to go to his far shoulder. If you’re going to go across the body like that, because you don’t want that full contact, then you’re going to hit him right in the face.
“Look at all the blood all over the ice. It’s a dirty hit. He’s got a broken face, so, it’s a dirty hit.”
Q. What did you think about what Paul MacLean said about not recognizing the name of Diaz, and having trouble searching for Eller’s name, that he wasn’t even familiar with the players. Any thought on that?
“Yeah, he already showed enough disrespect over there. So we don’t really care about what that bug-eyed fat walrus has to say.”
Los Angeles Kings v.s. St. Louis Blues (Blues lead 2-0)
The Blues continued their hot-play last night, extending their series lead to 2-0 over the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. It seemed as if the Kings were right there but Barret Jackman scored at 19:09 of the final stanza to give the Blues a 2-1 victory.
The series now shifts to Staples Center as the Kings find themselves in a tight spot. If the Blues take a 3-0 lead in the series lead, we will most likely see the Kings thrown off their rightful place on the throne.
Detroit Red Wings v.s. Anaheim Ducks (Series tied 1-1)
The Red Wings, who are experts when it comes to the postseason, almost let a 3 goal lead slip away from them last night in Anaheim. But the keyword is almost.
After the Wings 4-1 lead was stripped by the Ducks, Gustav Nyquist ended the game with a PPG just a short 1:21 into OT. As we have seen in past postseasons, overtimes either end really early or really late. Note: It took 3 overtimes last year to get a winner between the Rangers and Capitals (ironic, huh?)
What’s Trending On Twitter
#NYR can turn tables on series with a “W” tomorrow. I believe Staal, Dorsett or Boyle play tomorrow.
— Rob Ziello (@RobZ24) May 3, 2013
#NYR Also, Tortorella confirmed a healthy player will return regardless of conditioning level, “because if we don’t win, we’re done.”
— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) May 3, 2013
— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) May 3, 2013
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