Monday, April 23rd, 2012
CBC, Team 1200
1st East (51-24-7) @ 8th East (41-31-10)
OTTAWA LEADS SERIES 3-2
Ottawa comes home with 2 chances to eliminate the New York Rangers. However, they want to get it done on home ice in front of the Sens Army and avoid a return trip to New York for a winner take all game. After Mark Stone made his NHL debut on Saturday, earning an assist, another Sens prospect will be making his NHL debut after dominating the Swedish Elite League. Jakob Silfverberg has made his was over from winning the SEL championship and will make his first Senators appearance tonight.
Also, the return of a couple of players involved in a Game 2 incident, Daniel Alfredsson and the player who sidelined him, Carl Hagelin, will also be in their respective lineups. This has the potential to be the most offensive team the Senators have iced this season, but I caution you to temper your expectations for Silfverberg. Brian Boyle will be out of the Rangers lineup with a concussion following Chris Neil’s open ice hit in game 5, while Jesse Winchester will not be in the lineup for the Senators for the foreseeable future.
Henrik Lundqvist will indeed be in the lineup after a Twitter hoax was perpetrated earlier today that the Rangers goalie was ill and would not be playing.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jakob Silfverberg, OTT – Many eyes will be on the prospect who Ottawa would have like to have had in its lineup all season. After collecting nearly every accolade in Sweden this season, he is finally ready to show his wares in Ottawa.
Brad Richards, NYR – With Boyle out of the lineup, Richards will be the key focus for the Rangers to help them avoid a monumental upset (at least in the eyes of those outside of Ottawa).
KEYS TO A SENS VICTORY
1. Keep the Chemistry – Whatever lineup takes shape tonight, the chemistry that has developed cannot be messed with. Silfverberg and Stone (if he plays again) must find a niche without stepping on toes.
2 ALFIE – The Return of The King will give an immediate boost to the lineup and create emotion in SBP. If he isn’t in the starting lineup, MacLean should be fired! (Of course I don’t mean that, but it would be missing out on a great ovation)
3. Score first – Lundqvist doesn’t give much space to shooters, but if the Sens can get on him early and make the Rangers play from behind, they could end it tonight.