Rangers Dominate – Take Game One
It takes sixteen wins to lift Lord Stanley's Cup. The Rangers took their first step on Thursday night with a dominant 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. @JoeBianchino
Thursday night, Madison Square Garden was alive with a fury the venue hasn't known in years- not counting Billy Joel concerts. What started as a rumbling with the National Anthem stylings of Garden legend John Amirante, crescendoed to a roar with Brad Richards' tap in goal to put the Rangers up 4-0. Comfortably ahead, the Blue shirts would cruise to a 4-2 win.
The game was not always so comfortable for the men of New York, however. Ahead on the strength of a first period goal by Captain Ryan Callahan- who missed the 2011 playoffs due to a broken ankle- the Rangers found themselves being badly outplayed in the second frame. The Senators were controlling the action. Vezina-worthy goalie Henrik Lundqvist stood tall, however, keeping his team on the lead long enough for John Tortorella to change the momentum.
The Ranger coach used his only time out to try and rouse his team from their funk. His speech - which I'm assuming, knowing a thing or two about John Tortorella, was so laced with obscenities it would make Quentin Tarantino blush- worked perfectly. The Rangers came alive out of the time-out- scoring twice in the second period's final four minutes, and adding Richards' tally just two minutes into the third. Credit the Ranger defense for keeping the Senators off the board while the game was in doubt. Offensively, the line of Gaborik, Richards and Hagelin combined for three points- including two goals - with Bryan Boyle (goal) and Artem Anismov (2 assists) also turning in impressive games.
While Ranger fans won't be impressed that their team appeared to phone-in the last ten minutes of the game, they will undoubtedly come away from game one with a smile. Their Rangers are up 1-0 in this best of seven and will look to score another home win on Saturday night in game two.