NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: The Ottawa Senators battle the New York Rangers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 14, 2012 in New York City. The Senators defeated the Rangers 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
- Even though the New York Rangers lost Saturday night, I'm not worried about this series. The Ottawa Senators got two lucky breaks that went their way, which kept them in and then won them the game in overtime. The first was the shot that went in off of Michael Del Zotto's foot, the second was a puck that hit Ryan McDonagh in his groin, injuring him, and leaving the puck sitting on a silver platter for Chris Neil.
- The Rangers played a horrible game last night. The Senators, on the other hand, played a great game. That's both concerning (more on this later) and reassuring (that the game was even as close as it was).
- With all that being said, give all the credit in the world to Ottawa. They didn't quit, kept pressing and converted when they had to.
- The officiating in this series has been atrocious, absolutely atrocious. Why don't we start with the Brandon Dubinsky ejection? The officials ruled that Dubinsky was the "third man into a fight," which, by the laws of the game, is grounds for a game misconduct. Alright. Here's the problem: Dubinsky wasn't the third man in a fight. While Matt Carkner was wailing on Brian Boyle (who was helplessly laying on the ice), Dubinsky jumped in protect him. The officials ruled him as a third man in. How? Especially since Carkner was the ONLY player issued a fight.
So, to recap: Carkner cheap shots Boyle over and over again. Boyle (who did not get a fighting penalty) gets rescued by Dubinsky (who only got a roughing penalty in addition to the misconduct) and then Dubinsky gets called as the "third man into a fight," even those the officials themselves ruled that Boyle wasn't fighting since they didn't give him a fighting major. By that logic, every single scrum after the whistle would see ejections. Every one of them, since, you know, there's three player in there. What a joke the officiating has been in this series, it's been an embarrassment.
- Join me after the jump for more.
- Don't discount how big of a deal the Dubinsky ejection was. Suddenly John Tortorella needed to mix and match to try and find three lines he could roll with some consistency, and in the end it really did hurt the Rangers. Especially when Tortorella decides he's not playing Mike Rupp (2:38) and John Mitchell (4:31). Since we're on this train of thought, he only played Stu Bickel for 3:40. If he's need to give them so little ice time, then bring Chris Kreider in to replace Rupp or Mitchel (assuming Carl Hagelin isn't suspended) and Tim Erixon to replace Bickel. The Rangers' defense looked gassed at the end of the game, no wonder why.
- Speaking of Hagelin. Was he intentionally trying to hurt Daniel Alfredsson? No. Was it a penalty? Yes. Should he be suspended? Yes. However, if Hagelin is suspended I will be furious. Not because he doesn't deserve it, but because his hit was no worse than Shea Weber's in Game 1 against Detroit. That hit earned Weber a $2,500 fine.
- Back to the officials. On the Senators' tying goal late in the third period, Hagelin was being mugged by two different Senators away from the play. Those of you watching back home missed this. Want to know why? Because it was happening in a different zone of the ice than the play. That's right, two Senators were in the neutral zone essentially throwing Hagelin around while the puck was in the Rangers' offensive zone for the goal. Was there a call? Of course there wasn't.
- I've been talking all year about how the Rangers' power play was going to cost this team if it went cold. Well, it's gone cold. As soon as the Rangers had a five-minute power play in the beginning of the game I knew it was either going to be a really good thing or a really bad thing. There was going to be no middle ground. It ended up being really bad.
- The penalty kill, on the other hand, was fantastic. If the Rangers don't get unlucky and score on themselves, they kill off that five-minute major on Hagelin and then they win the game. The Senators were deflated, they were starting to ease back into "well if we can't win let's just hurt them" mode, and then they get a lucky break and it changes the game. Sometimes the breaks go your way. Last night they didn't go the Rangers' way.
- I thought Brian Boyle and Henrik Lundqvist were spectacular Saturday.
- I think we will see Kreider for game 3, I just don't know why we're going to see him. Will it be to replace Hagelin? Will it be to shake things up to add more offense? I don't know.