The first period started off with some fast paced (pace reference already!) hockey from both clubs, and a lot of scrambles for the puck. The Rangers lead off with some solid chances on break-ins, while the Senators relied heavily on shots from far out, hoping they would sneak through Lundqvist.
Neither strategy worked until Ryan Callahan got a rebound off of Senators goalie Craig Anderson and shot it past the far out Anderson for the Rangers first goal. Artem Anisimov and Anton Stralman assisted on the goal by Captain America .(Cally)
The first period ended with more back and forth hockey, and some noticeably physical play by Ryan Callahan. The Captain was the fastest, most intense player out there.
In the second period the Senators controlled the first half of play, but then the Rangers took over after a John Tortorella timeout. After Mike Rupp missed an empty net chance after Anderson skated out to mid-ice, the Rangers helped make up for Rupp's gaffe.
First, Marian Gaborik skated in and slipped the puck through Anderson's pads to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Next, Brian Boyle rebounded the puck, reared back, and sniped the puck past the struggling goalie. Artem Anisimov and Dan Girardi assisted on the third goal, while Gaborik's goal was unassisted.
Meanwhile, Henrik Lundqvist was playing like a king, stopping all 24 shots in the first two periods.
Follow me after the jump for moreOnly a little bit more than two minutes into the third period, Carl Hagelin stole the puck away and quickly passed it to an open Brad Richards who quickly lasered it past Anderson to notch his 22nd career playoff goal.
It was a game for the role players as well, as in addition to Boyle's goal, Mike Rupp (slightly) made up for his missed empty net opportunity by getting a misconduct out of Chris Neil with just over sixteen minutes left in the third. Meanwhile, Ruslan Fedotenko may have hustled more than any player on the ice tonight.
As for the defensemen, there was no real weak link tonight. While Stu Bickel could have played a bit better, and Michael Del Zotto was beat once, the team didn't suffer much from their defensive play.
The Rangers powerplay was 0-4, but who needs power play goals in the playoffs.....right? Right?
So the Rangers are up 1-0, all is right with the world, and as usual, Let's Go Rangers!