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Posted On Wednesday, 04.18.2012 / 7:14 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Alfredsson to miss Game 4

OTTAWA -- As expected, Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will not be in the lineup Wednesday night for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Rangers.

Daniel Alfredsson
Right Wing - OTT
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 6 | +/-: -2
The 39-year-old hasn't skated since Monday morning, but coach Paul MacLean didn't rule him out for Game 4 on Wednesday morning. Alfredsson did not participate in the team's pregame skate Wednesday.

Alfredsson suffered a concussion from an elbow to the head from Rangers forward Carl Hagelin during the second period of Game 2. Hagelin received a three-game ban for the infraction.

The Rangers lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.
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Posted On Wednesday, 04.18.2012 / 12:38 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Rangers see physical series as part of playoff hockey

OTTAWA -- After the Rangers won Game 1 of this series, Senators coach Paul MacLean took a different approach to Game 2 by inserting defenseman Matt Carkner and forward Zenon Konopka into the lineup.

The addition of two physical presences worked, as the Senators won Game 2 to even the series. It came at a price, as Carkner was suspended for Game 3 due to his one-sided, one-man bout with the Rangers' Brian Boyle in the first period.

The Rangers won Game 3, but all signs point to Carkner being back in the lineup for Wednesday night's Game 4 at Scotiabank Place. That doesn't necessarily guarantee a repeat of Game 2, according to the Rangers' Mike Rupp, who believes the bitterness seen in that contest is natural during the postseason.

"Playoff hockey is not really an open brand of hockey," Rupp said. "It creates a lot more confrontations. You're literally digging on ice that you want and everyone wants whether it's in front of the net, where the scrums are usually starting, or in the corners. Those little things can turn into a lot, so you just try to gain whatever you can."

Brandon Prust, who led the NHL in fighting majors this season with 20, said he won't know what to expect until the puck is dropped.

"Who knows? Every game is different," Prust said. "Obviously in Game 2, there were some more hot tempers I guess. You never know what's going to happen in every game. Every day is a new day. It's the playoffs, so anything can happen."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Wednesday, 04.18.2012 / 12:28 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Projected Game 4 lineup for Rangers

OTTAWA -- Best of luck getting a straight answer from either coach in this series about their lineups, but it doesn't appear the New York Rangers will be making any changes in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Senators.

Carl Hagelin is still out due to suspension, which means Chris Kreider will make his second appearance in an NHL game. Henrik Lundqvist will make the start in net.

These are the way the lines looked for the Rangers in Game 3, and there's little reason to believe they will change Wednesday night:

Chris Kreider - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
John Mitchell - Derek Stepan - Mike Rupp

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Stu Bickel

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Wednesday, 04.18.2012 / 12:10 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Projected Game 4 lineup for Senators

OTTAWA -- Here are the Ottawa Senators' projected lines for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the New York Rangers at Scotiabank Place:

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Colin Greening
Nick Foligno - Kyle Turris - Bobby Butler
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Zenon Konopka - Jim O'Brien - Jesse Winchester

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips - Matt Carkner

Craig Anderson
Ben Bishop

Mike Hoffman, who was called up from Binghamton on Sunday, spent some time skating with the second line, but coach Paul MacLean was coy about whether he would use Hoffman, only saying that he was "keeping all options open." Hoffman played in one regular season game with the Senators on Dec. 23, and did not register a point.

There was no update on Daniel Alfredsson (concussion), who was absent from the ice for the second consecutive day.

Spezza said the team has closed the book on their 1-0 in Game 3 and needs to focus only on tonight.

"You've got to cut your losses and not hang on to it," he said. "You learn from every game, every game you take something [away from it.] We did a lot of things well last game, now we [just have to] score and for us, I think it would benefit our team if we tried to get out to a lead. We haven't played with a lead for much in the series at all."
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.17.2012 / 6:53 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Special teams haven't been effective

KANATA, Ont. -- Special teams are very important in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There isn't a player in the League who will tell you otherwise.
 
But so far in this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers, neither team's power play has had much of an impact.
 
The Rangers have one goal in 11 chances while the Senators have one goal in 10 chances and rank 13th and 12th, respectively, among teams in the postseason.
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.17.2012 / 1:39 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Alfredsson suffers 'setback' in recovery

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean told reporters Tuesday that team captain Daniel Alfredsson had a "setback" in his recovery from a concussion and his status is unknown for Game 4 of the team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers.

The Senators took part in an optional practice Tuesday afternoon, following their 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Monday night at Scotiabank Place. The Rangers currently lead the Sens 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series.

Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson were absent from the ice. Karlsson and Anderson took a maintenance day, while Alfredsson continues to recover from his concussion. Alfredsson received a blow to the head from the Rangers' Carl Hagelin during the second period of Game 2. The captain participated in the morning skate on Monday and was listed as a game-time decision for Game 3, but did not play. Alfredsson has now suffered a setback in his recovery, leaving his availability for Game 4 unclear.

"We're going to evaluate it and see what it is in the morning," MacLean said. "If [Alfredsson] is better and things go good, we'll evaluate the lineup and make decisions then.

"He's the captain of the team. He's the most experienced player on the team. It's a big loss for any team. I think the team stepped up and played really well. I thought Bobby [Butler] went in and played real well for us. That's what we need to happen. When a team faces adversity, it's an opportunity. We're not replacing Daniel Alfredsson. We don't have that player."

The Senators' practice largely focused on special teams, with MacLean spending most of the skate working with the team's first power play unit of Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza, Butler, Filip Kuba and Sergei Gonchar. The Sens' power play is 1-for-10 through three games, with the only goal on the man-advantage coming from Erik Karlsson in Game 2.
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Posted On Monday, 04.16.2012 / 5:54 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Senators captain Alfredsson will miss Game 3

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will not be in the lineup for Game 3 of the team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on Monday night against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC).

There was no immediate indication as to who would dress in Alfredsson's place.

The Senators captain admitted he received a concussion after Carl Hagelin elbowed him in the head during Game 2 on Saturday. Alfredsson left the ice and did not return. However, Monday saw the 39-year-old take part in a full skate. Alfredsson said he would gauge how he felt in the hours between the skate and the game, and if he felt up to it, he would be in the lineup.

"We'll see -- we'll decide at game time if I'm playing or not," Alfredsson said. "I have felt better. [Sunday] was better than Saturday. Bike ride yesterday -- I felt pretty good throughout the day … was active at home with the kids … felt pretty good this morning. Next step obviously is to skate today, which I did this morning, and we'll see what happens."

When asked about his previous concussion history, Alfredsson said he has to play it by ear.

"Every situation is different, you take it as it comes, it is what is," Alfredsson said. "You can't force something like this -- you feel what you feel. I find [it's best] to just relax and go with the flow. If it's good, it's good. If it's not, it's not. You can't do anything about it. The less stress you put on yourself, the more you help yourself."

Despite being taken out of the game, Alfredsson holds no ill will against Hagelin, who received a three-game suspension for the incident.

"It's hard -- I don't think [Hagelin] is that kind of guy," Alfredsson said. "With the intensity and the things that go on in a playoff game, things happen. He gets an elbow up; maybe he wouldn't if it's not a playoff game. If there's one thing that the League is preaching, it's blows to the head. I'm sure they went through [the video] a lot of times and I'm sure they did the right thing in watching.

"I'm not the type of guy who's going to hold a grudge. It's playoff hockey. If it needs to be disciplined, the League will take care of that and move on."
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Posted On Monday, 04.16.2012 / 12:56 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Projected Game 3 lineup for Rangers

OTTAWA -- Rangers coach John Tortorella is famous for his propensity to shuffle lines, but he hasn't had to do much of that since the middle of March.

He will have no choice but to make some changes for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Senators, which is tied at 1-1. Carl Hagelin, a staple of the team's top line for the past month, will begin serving his three-game suspension for an elbow to the head of Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson in Game 2 on Saturday.

The Rangers held an optional practice Monday morning and did not reveal any line combinations, so what follows is complete guess work. Both Chris Kreider and John Scott, forwards who have been healthy scratches the first two games of the series, were off the ice early. Usually, healthy scratches will stay on late and put in extra work with the coaches.

So here's some pure speculation on the Rangers' line combinations. Kreider played a little bit with Derek Stepan during the World Junior Championship in 2010, so that could be a landing spot for him if he plays. Check back during pregame warmups, set to start around 7 p.m. ET, for something more substantial.

Artem Anisimov - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Brandon Dubinsky - Brian Boyle - Ruslan Fedotenko
Mike Rupp - John Mitchell - Brandon Prust
 
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Stu Bickel
 
Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Monday, 04.16.2012 / 12:36 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Projected Game 3 lineup for Senators

OTTAWA -- Here are the Ottawa Senators' projected lines for Game 3 against the New York Rangers on Monday night at Scotiabank Place:

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Jesse Winchester
Nick Foligno - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Zenon Konopka - Jim O'Brien - Erik Condra

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips - Matt Gilroy

Craig Anderson
Ben Bishop

Kaspars Daugavins, Rob Klinkhammer and Bobby Butler are the healthy scratches. Matt Carkner will serve a one-game suspension for his incident involving Brian Boyle during Game 2. Daniel Alfredsson (concussion) is a game-time decision. Coach Paul MacLean said the captain has taken his baseline test and passed.

Winchester, the latest addition to the No. 1 line, plans on making room for Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek to do their job.

"I'm going to contribute physically and take pucks to the net," Winchester said. "I'm just going to try and grind their team down and use my body. I have to keep improving and matching everything that they bring to us."

MacLean hopes to use Winchester's wheels to the top line's advantage.

"He plays with speed," MacLean said. "He get can get on the forecheck and use his speed to his advantage. He handles the puck fine. That's what we like."




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Posted On Sunday, 04.15.2012 / 10:29 PM

NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Rangers respond to Hagelin suspension

New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin was suspended for three games Sunday night for elbowing Ottawa Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series in New York on Saturday.

The incident occurred at 10:32 of the second period. Hagelin was assessed a major penalty for elbowing. Alfredsson suffered an injury as a result of the hit and his status for Monday's Game 3 is unknown. Hagelin will miss Monday's Game 3, as well as Game 4 on Wednesday and Game 5 next Saturday.

Sunday night, the Rangers issued the following statement regarding the suspension:

"The New York Rangers accept the NHL's three-game suspension of Carl Hagelin and will not pursue an appeal. However, we are thoroughly perplexed in the ruling's inconsistency with other supplementary discipline decisions that have been made throughout this season and during the playoffs.  We will have no further comment on this decision."

Ottawa's Matt Carkner was suspended one game for a separate incident in Game 2.
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