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Rangers vs Senators - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals

Rangers hope Hagelin's return speeds up comeback

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Carl Hagelin has become known for a lot of things during his rookie season with the New York Rangers -- his speed, his tenacity on the forecheck, and his ability to meld on the top line with superstars Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards.

Senators fans will likely see him differently for quite some time after his elbow knocked captain Daniel Alfredsson out of Games 3-5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, but pugnacity and physicality are the least of the many reasons why Hagelin has become a major part of the Rangers after failing to make the team out of training camp.

Hagelin was suspended three games for that elbow and will return to the lineup for Game 6 on Monday night with the Rangers trailing in the best-of-seven-series 3-2.

Ottawa's five-step plan for playoff success

Erin Nicks - Correspondent

OTTAWA – At the beginning of the season, few could have predicted that the Ottawa Senators would be active in the playoffs. Now those same Senators are on the brink of knocking out the New York Rangers – the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and a club pegged by many to play long into the spring.

Here are five reasons why the Senators have taken a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series:

1. Craig Anderson

After coming off a three-week recovery for a hand laceration sustained at home, Anderson has been huge for the Senators in the postseason. The goaltender has faced 157 shots, and has only allowed five goals in the past four games of the series, including a shutout on Saturday. Anderson currently boasts a 1.79 goals-against average and .943 save percentage.

Rangers remain confident after Game 5 loss

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- For a team on the brink of elimination at the hands of a heavy underdog, the New York Rangers are in pretty good spirits.

The eighth-seeded Senators became the first team in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series to win consecutive games, beating the top-seeded Rangers 2-0 at Madison Square Garden Saturday night to grab a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series with Game 6 set for Monday night at Scotiabank Place.

Following the game, coach John Tortorella talked about how his team's performance in the loss was one of its best in the series.

"I feel better about the team after tonight's game than a couple of wins that we've had," Tortorella said. "So we go to Ottawa and have to play the same way and keep banging away and see if we can score some goals. Everything about our game was good except our power play struggled, but that's why it's a series and they have to win four."

Boyle suffers concussion on hit by Neil

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Rangers forward Brian Boyle, who leads the team in goals this postseason with three, suffered a concussion during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Ottawa, a game the Senators won 2-0 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Boyle was skating through the Senators zone early in the third period when he was hit by Ottawa's Chris Neil after releasing a shot on goal. The check left Boyle down on the ice for several seconds.

There was no penalty called on the hit. Boyle returned to the game several minutes later but eventually left the bench with about two minutes remaining in the game and was diagnosed with a concussion, according to Rangers coach John Tortorella, who also said Boyle is "out" when asked about his status.

Rangers still working at closing out leads over Sens

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Through four games of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, the New York Rangers haven't played from behind for a second against the Ottawa Senators.

Yet, heading into Game 5 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, the top-seeded Rangers are locked in a 2-2 tie with the eighth-seeded Ottawa Senators, who won both of their games in this best-of-seven series in overtime in comeback fashion.

The Rangers held a one-goal lead late in Game 2, but Nick Foligno tied the game with 4:37 left in regulation as the Rangers collapsed into a defensive shell that they admitted afterward helped lead to their demise in overtime on Chris Neil's goal.

Carkner having an impact for Sens in multiple ways

Erin Nicks - Correspondent

Matt Carkner quickly has become a game-changer in Ottawa's Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the New York Rangers. (Photo: Len Redkoles/NHLI)

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators defenseman Matt Carkner may have been the last player predicted to be a playoff catalyst, but the blueliner quickly has become a game-changer in this Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series between the Sens and the New York Rangers.

"He played great. He was [really] active pinching, and what he did Game 2 to change the momentum in the series and to come back in and play the way he played [Wednesday], I think the guys are really happy to see him have some success and hopefully it'll keep going," Jason Spezza said.

Added coach Paul MacLean: "Matt is a team player; everything he does is for the team, and that's why he's been a factor."

Carkner remains humble about his role in the team's success, as the series sits tied at 2-2. His fracas with Brian Boyle at the beginning of Game 2 led to a one-game suspension, but the Sens credited Carkner for lighting the fuse to an eventual 3-2 victory. On Wednesday, Carkner had just finished serving a hooking penalty at 6:55 of the second when he saw Milan Michalek heading toward the Rangers' zone. The defenseman hopped out of the box, gained control of the puck and passed to Michalek, who scored at 7:04.

Tortorella not worried after Game 4 loss

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

John Tortorella wasn't discouraged with his team's performance in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night that evened their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series at 2-2, but he wants to get more out of some of his players who aren't producing.

The Rangers' coach wouldn't single out individuals during a conference call Thursday with his club enjoying a day off before practice Friday and Game 5 Saturday at Madison Square Garden, but Marian Gaborik has just one goal in the series, which came during Game 1. Brad Richards had a pair of power-play assists in Game 2, but his only even-strength point of the series came in the third period of Game 1.

Tortorella also discussed the impact of losing Carl Hagelin for the past two games due to a suspension, his team's inability to put Game 4 away when it had the chance and his team's readiness for a massive Game 5.

Late-season scratches a wakeup call for Fedotenko

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Ruslan Fedotenko is not just the most-experienced Ranger when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Entering the postseason, his 88 playoff games were more than the combined total of the 13 least-experienced players on the roster.

On a team loaded with playoff grasshoppers, Fedotenko is the master.

The 33-year-old has become a fixture on the Rangers' checking line, which is partly responsible for holding down the top line of the Ottawa Senators in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. Fedotenko possesses two Stanley Cup rings -- one he earned with the Lightning with current Rangers coach John Tortorella behind the bench in Tampa.

Rangers remain confident despite overtime loss

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

OTTAWA -- There isn't a team in the League that wouldn't like to have a two-goal lead six minutes into a game, but it proved to be a problem for the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

After getting power-play goals from Anton Stralman and Ryan Callahan in the first period, the Rangers couldn't break through against goaltender Craig Anderson and the Senators for the remainder of the game. Ottawa scored three unanswered goals, including Kyle Turris' laser 2:15 into overtime, to give the Senators a 3-2 win in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series that evened the best-of-seven battle at 2-2.

The Rangers carried their two-goal lead into the first intermission, but they found themselves under attack from the Senators over the final 40 minutes of regulation and eventually succumbed in overtime. The Senators held an 85-49 advantage in shot attempts, an indication that they were dictating the play after falling behind early.

Senators show their resiliency again

Erin Nicks - Correspondent

OTTAWA – Resiliency got the Ottawa Senators into the postseason -- and that same resiliency pushed them to even their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

Kyle Turris
Center - OTT
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 3
SOG: 8 | +/-: 0
Kyle Turris’ series-tying overtime goal washed away all memories of their shaky start – the Rangers were up by two goals 6:10 into the first period and the Senators needed a pair of second-period goals to get even. Turris' OT goal have the Senators their first playoff win at Scotiabank Place since June 2, 2007 -- and was their first overtime win in exactly eight years; former Senator Mike Fisher scored in overtime in Game 6 for a 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 18, 2004.

"The resiliency we’ve shown all year is what we showed tonight," center Jason Spezza said. "We got down two tonight and we didn’t lose our composure, and we played real good hockey after that. I think that’s just a testament to how this team has been all year – big goals from a lot of different guys, and that’s playoff hockey."

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