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5 Keys: Senators at Rangers, Game 3

New York needs to take advantage of last change at home; Ottawa must be careful on power play

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer


7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

Ottawa leads best-of-7 series 2-0


NEW YORK -- The Ottawa Senators won at home in Games 1 and 2 and will try to take a 3-0 lead against the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

Teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-7 series have gone on to win the series 86.6 percent of the time (309-48), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Rangers have fallen behind 2-0 in a Stanley Cup Playoff series seven times since 2006, all with Henrik Lundqvist as their No. 1 goalie. They have come back to win the series once (2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals).

Here are 5 keys for Game 3:


1. Home cooking

The last-change advantage could give the Rangers the edge they want and need in the faceoff circle. They struggled in Ottawa, particularly in Game 2, when they won 42 percent of the faceoffs (37 of 89).

Beyond that, the Rangers have to play off the emotion of their crowd. They did that well in Games 4 and 6 against the Montreal Canadiens in the first round and won each game. They did not do it in Game 3 and lost.

"There are a lot of words that could describe how we should play, how we should approach the game," center Mika Zibanejad said. "It comes down to our battle level. We have to outwork them."

Video: The Rangers sink in the final minutes in Game 2


2. Be physical on Erik Karlsson

The Rangers know Karlsson is playing with a foot injury and they want to be as physical as they can on him, but it's difficult to do because he's still evasive.

New York has to dump the puck into Karlsson's corner, make him turn and go get it, and have the first forechecker on him quickly, forcing him to make a quick decision. He plays big minutes and he's hurt.

"You're not going to break him or make him quit," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said. "He's going to keep coming at you, but you got to make it hard on him."


3. Jean-Gabriel Pageau's encore

Pageau scored four goals in Game 2, including two in the final 3:19 of the third period, and in the second overtime.

Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh said Pageau was already on their radar because of the impact he has in other areas of the game, including on the penalty kill, but now they have to pay significant attention to him in the offensive zone as well.

Video: NYR@OTT, Gm2: Pageau snaps in fourth for 2OT win


4. Senators must be careful on power play

The Senators scored a goal and got momentum off of their other three power-play opportunities in Game 1. It was a different story in Game 2, when their power play was 0-for 4 with no shots on goal and two shorthanded goals against.

Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said the power-play problems in Game 2 had less to do with what the Rangers were doing and more with what the Senators did to gift them opportunities for 2-on-1 goals by Michael Grabner and Derek Stepan.

"Both goals were us," Boucher said. "On one, one of our players shot for no reason when we had full control on the zone entry and it went around, and they were gone. The other one is off an o-zone play, we shot it around and they were gone. We just weren't very smart about that."


5. Senators need to be desperate, too  

The Rangers know the urgency of getting a win in Game 3. The Senators know they'll still have a lead in the series regardless of what happens.

"It's easy to say there is desperation, but until there really is it's something you have to create superficially," Boucher said.

Boucher isn't concerned with how the Senators will respond. He used Ottawa's first-round series against the Boston Bruins as an example. The Senators had leads of 2-1 and 3-2 going into Games 4 and 6 at TD Garden, respectively. They won each time.

"They had all the urgency in the world and we had to match that, we had to play our game, and we did," Boucher said. "This is probably the toughest game we'll have all year long."

Video: NYR@OTT, Gm2: Pageau completes hatty to tie game


Senators projected lineup

Viktor Stalberg -- Kyle Turris -- Mark Stone

Clarke MacArthur -- Derick Brassard -- Bobby Ryan

Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Alexandre Burrows

Ryan Dzingel -- Zack Smith -- Tommy Wingels

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Fredrik Claesson -- Ben Harpur

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: Tom Pyatt, Chris Kelly, Chris Wideman, Chris Neil, Colin White, Jyrki Jokipakka, Chris DiDomenico

Injured: Mark Borowiecki (lower body)


Rangers projected lineup

Jimmy Vesey -- Derek Stepan -- Rick Nash

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- Jesper Fast

Tanner Glass -- Oscar Lindberg -- J.T. Miller

Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Brendan Smith  

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Pavel Buchnevich, Adam Clendening, Kevin Klein, Matt Puempel, Steven Kampfer, Brandon Pirri

Injured: None


Status report

Vigneault would not confirm his lineup. However, Glass, who has been scratched in each of the past five games, came off the ice early Tuesday from what was supposed to be an extras only morning skate. Buchnevich stayed on the ice. He was limited to 5:46 of ice time in Game 2. … The Senators will use the same lineup that they used in the first two games.


Who's hot

Pageau scored four goals in Game 2. ... Phaneuf has two assists in Game 2. ... Turris and Karlsson each have points in three straight games. ... Skjei scored two goals in Game 2. ... McDonagh and Zibanejad each had two assists.  

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