Monday April 16th, 2012
CBC, Team 1200
1st East (51-24-7) @ 8th East (41-31-10)
SERIES TIED 1-1
Ottawa tied the series at 1 after a Chris Neil overtime goal on Saturday. However, the major story was the Sens response to Brian Boyle‘s use of Erik Karlsson as a punching bag. Matt Carkner inserted into the lineup immediately made his presence felt going right after Boyle and forever changing the tone of this series. The bad blood was felt throughout the game. Daniel Alfredsson also fell victim to an elbow to the head by rookie Carls Hagelin.
They say you’re fine in a playoff series as long as you haven’t lost on home ice. Ottawa is hoping to do that tonight and take the series lead over the number one seed. It will be interesting to see what type of tone this game takes with the series knotted, but the tension high between both teams. Expect another close low scoring game that will likely come down to goaltending. Matt Carkner and Carls Hagelin will both be out of this game due to suspensions resulting from Game 2. However, Daniel Alfredsson should be good to go once again making another miraculously quick recovery.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jason Spezza, OTT – Didn’t have the greatest game on Saturday, but other players stepped up. Now is the time for Spezza to make his presence felt.
Brian Boyle, NYR – The Sens targeted Boyle last game, but he still managed to put a goal on the board. You know he’s definitely become one of the players that Ottawa has decided to focus on.
THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. First Goal – The Senators have allowed the first goal in both games thus far. It’s much easier to play the Rangers when they don’t score first.
2. Home Ice – Ottawa finally gets to return home with the series tied. Expect the crowd to be pumped for this one in what has been a dream season so far.
3. Blocked Shots – The Rangers have been shot blocking machines this series, but it cost them on the OT goal Saturday as Ryan McDonagh blocked the shot falling down in pain allowing Neil to pot the winner.