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Published: Mon, May 01, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Erik Karlsson: Erik Karlsson scores GWG in Game 1 vs NYR

Erik Karlsson: Erik Karlsson scores GWG in Game 1 vs NYR

Today is Eastern Conference day.

NY took out Atlantic Division champion Montreal in six games in the first round, with three of them decided by one goal and two in overtime.

The Senators would fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round but the team's surprising success saw MacLean named the 2012-13 National Hockey League coach of the year. It's worth noting no team won more games on the road during the regular season than the blue shirts.

Adnan: While Erik Karlsson played great, the images of him struggling at the end of game five and his importance to the team makes it a no-brainer for me.

Ottawa's neutral zone trap is going to be tough to crack. The challenge will be for the Rangers forwards who started off slow this postseason that they rely on for their playmaking. Lundqvist is usually money in games the Rangers need to win come playoff time, and I expect a sharp performance from him here.

Due to the Rangers playing the Senators, it will also highlight the matchup of Derrick Brassard and Mika Zibanejad playing against their former teams. Kyle Turris and Zack Smith are the only two players remaining in Ottawa who played a full-time role four years ago. Yes, its obvious Mats Zuccarello can do the job, but he can also be effective on another line. Yes, the games may be a little less offensively exciting than those in the Caps/Pens series, but no they will be no less meaningful. But ruled out Wednesday was Mark Borowiecki, a physical defenseman who suffered a lower-body injury in Game 2.

Henrik Lundqvist continues his remarkable play and outplays Craig Anderson the way he did Carey Price. The key to handling him is to keep him away from the net and off the score sheet in the first game.

Where was the edge, the physicality we saw in the Montreal series? The under is usually a safe bet between these two teams to begin with. "For our intentions - and our intensions are to win - then you've got to play better than we did last night".

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who during the last round drove home the point that the Canadiens were favoured, could not help smiling when news of Boucher's remarks were relayed to him.

Prediction: Take the Rangers to win tonight. The Rangers have more skill than they get credit for, but it's clear that their success in this series will be measured on physicality, defense and goaltending, all of which are elite at the moment. The only team better in their own building in the 2016-2017 regular season was the Washington Capitals.

While injuries are usually kept hidden during the playoffs Karlsson surprised many, including his general manager, when he revealed what he had been battling through following the Senators' series-ending victory. He is practicing with the team.

"We still have a long way to go". Pittsburgh is simply too good at generating high-danger chances.

Miller is confident with the puck on his stick and likes carrying it into the offensive zone. Perhaps the best example would be the 8-7 slugfest in January earlier this season. The Penguins have eliminated them in eight of those series. It's a close call, but it's hard to bet against New York's wealth of playoff experience. Sidney Crosby is 29. Probably they take on Nash/Stepan/Zuccarello, but then there's a whole lot of good, young forwards left. In the present. Both are thinking, "this is the year".

This will be the second playoff meeting between the Senators and Rangers.

It's been a decade of "can't win the big one" storylines for Alex Ovechkin and company. The right stuff just wasn't good enough this time. Or to a certain extent, Ray Borque?

"It was a broken play and I just tried to have some poise and kind of wait him out there", said Dzingel.

As for the rest of the series?

Beating Lundqvist in a playoff series might change how Anderson is viewed.

"From what I hear from everybody, we don't seem to have much of a chance", Boucher said. The question is, can NY match Ottawa at this type of game?

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