2012 NHL Playoffs: Rangers Vs. Senators - Game Three Notes

OTTAWA, CANADA - APRIL 16: Brian Boyle #22 of the New York Rangers celebrates his third period goal against the Ottawa Senators in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scotiabank Place on April 16, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Rangers defeated the Senators 1-0. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

- Henrik Lundqvist. I mean, what can you say? He was absolutely jaw-dropping Monday. His save with less than a minute left on Kyle Turris was remarkable. I just stood up, looked at the TV and thought, did he really just make that save? While we're on Lundqvist, boy did he save the New York Rangers' offense Monday night. He made save after save while the Rangers played their worst period of hockey (the first) this postseason.

- If you're going to give Lundqvist the player of the game -- and I would -- then Brian Boyle is a very close second. He has been the Rangers' best offensive player this postseason (three goals, including two game-winners) and has done both the big and the little things right. His pass to break Ryan Callahan in the third was so perfect I didn't realize he was the one who dished it out. Too bad Callahan couldn't finish (more on this later).

- Speaking of Boyle, is there another Ranger you would have rather seen score a goal against the Senators? The crowd is booing him every time he touches the puck (please), the Senators players are still furious with him (again, please) and then he responds like that? What a game from him. He's been vital for the Rangers, simply critical.

Join me after the jump for more.

- Anton Stralman played his best game as a Ranger Monday night. His spinning stick-check to break up an Ottawa chance directly lead to a Rangers' goal after stopping a potential Senators goal.

- Lundqvist got a shutout but Stu Bickel deserves an assist on that. His diving arm save kept the game knotted at 0-0 at a point when the game could have easily gone in either direction.

- Well, here we go, the Chris Kreider review. I thought he was fantastic. I don't mean that as in he was the best player on the ice, but for the position he was thrust into, he was fantastic. He had a rocky first period (who could blame him?) then got his feet under him from the second period on. He made smart plays with the puck, made sure he was back when his defenseman pinched and didn't try to do too much. I also loved him going to the front of the net. He had a couple of deflections and nearly scored a goal. Great game from him all around. And holy crap is he fast.

- Onto Callahan. Let me just say that he had done just about everything he needs to do to be successful this series. But when he missed on the breakaway yesterday he kept the Senators in the game. This time it didn't cost them. In Game Two he got the puck in front of the net with no one around him, and didn't score. That goal would have given the Rangers a two-goal lead. You know what happened next. So, again, not knocking his game at all. I just want to see him bury those. With that being said, Boyle never scores his goal without Callahan's work. So there you go.

- This was an immense win for the Rangers. They've been a confident team all season, but the first period was one Henrik Lundqvist away from being a disaster. But they never left their game plan, continued pushing and won the game. Now the Rangers are guaranteed to go back to the Garden at least tied at 2-2 and potentially up 3-1.

- We've talked a lot about the physicality of the series, and I'm sure John Tortorella has done the same. The Rangers responded but didn't get out of control. The Senators came out flying, hit everything that moved and tried to throw the Rangers off their game. It didn't work. The Rangers stayed calm, pushed through and won the game.

- In terms of momentum, this was big. The Senators outplayed the Ramgers for most of this game, and couldn't win. Now the Rangers have an opportunity to push the Senators to the brink with the final game looming at MSG. That's if the Rangers can win game four. But that pressure is still there, and that's a good thing.

Thoughts?

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