Big Story: It's nothing quite as dire as win-or-go-home, but the Ottawa Senators are staring down a potential 0-2 hole against the Eastern Conference's top seed in Game 2. The Rangers led 4-0 before winning Game 1 by a 4-2 final, but the game was far closer than the score indicated. If the Senators can avoid another lapse, the series could be tied heading back to Ottawa.
Senators: Despite finding themselves in a four-goal hole in the third period and coming up short, the Senators were feeling pretty good about their chances in Game 2 after practice Friday.
"We feel like we can play with them," Jason Spezza said. "We felt pretty good at times and then we got away from our game and that's when they took over. That's what makes them the best team in the East, they were more consistent than us. The feeling is still optimism. You have to be prepared to lose games to win in the playoffs. We're not going to win them all. We're still optimistic we can make this a series and beat these guys, we just have to play a little bit better."
The Rangers' three-goal surge was the difference, but the Senators scored twice late and had a chance to push for the tie with Craig Anderson pulled for the extra attacker. Perhaps that momentum can carry over into Game 2.
"It wasn't a 4-0 game," Spezza said. "We gave them opportunities and they capitalized. We felt some of the goals they got we gave to them. There was an eight-minute period that we weren't sharp and it cost us the game. We hope to play a more complete game tomorrow."
Rangers: Captain Ryan Callahan set the tone early, Henrik Lundqvist protected the one-goal lead during a second-period onslaught, and Marian Gaborik, Brian Boyle and Brad Richards delivered the knock-out punch with three goals in less than six minutes to seal it.
The tide turned after John Tortorella called timeout and received a lengthy TV timeout 10 seconds later. It allowed the Rangers time to calm themselves and take over the contest.
"We were caught out there on a couple long shifts and they were starting to get some momentum," defenseman Marc Staal said. "We kind of stopped making plays. We weren't making passes. It was more just to calm us down, remind us to make plays, make passes, make sure we're confident with the puck. I thought after that, everyone kind of settled down and we kind of started to take the period over."
Who's Hot:Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Condra scored in the third period for the Senators in Game 1. … Lundqvist stopped 30 shots in Game 1. Boyle's goal in Game 1 was his sixth in his past 10 games.
Injury Report: Both teams lack any new injuries. Spezza, Alfredsson and Erik Karlsson didn't take part in Senators practice Friday, but all three should be good to go for Game 2.
Stat Pack: There were plenty of positives for each team coming out of Game 1, but the power play wasn't one for either team. They went a combined 0-for-7, with the Rangers failing to capitalize on four chances.
Puck Drop: "They played really well last night," Richards said of the Senators. "There was a momentum swing in the game we were able to grab, but they could've grabbed it, too. We have to realize we're going to have to be a lot better. They had the puck a lot in the second period. If they score a goal and make it 1-1, it might be different."