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Rangers' Zibanejad ready for Senators, his old team

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Alain Vigneault

This is essentially where finishing fourth in the Metropolitan Division pays off for the Rangers. He was solid against Boston but surrendered three goals in Games 2, 3 and 5.

"I'm definitely going to tell all my players, Brass for the next two weeks is not their friend anymore", Vigneault said.

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist covers the net during NHL hockey practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

"We know if we want to score goals we're going to need lots and lots and lots of shots on Lundqvist". Mats Zuccarello leads NY with three goals, Mika Zibanejad has three assists and Rick Nash has 26 shots on goal.

But because he could not do that, it was Karlsson, Ottawa's best player, who was the hero of Game 1.

The 35-year-old goalie will again have to be at the top of his game against Ottawa for NY to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth time in six years.

GAME 4 - Thursday, May 4: Ottawa at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. Goals in this first game should settle the nerves and allow the Sens to play their game and operate The System.

The teams are meeting in the playoffs for the second time.

The playoffs, however, have given the threesome another opportunity to team up and it has paid off in ways not even Guy Boucher could have predicted.

Boucher was pushing that message after the game, which also saw Craig Anderson make 34 saves. He played in only four games this year, without recording a point. It took a NY power play, on a tripping penalty given to Ottawa defenceman Cody Ceci. This past Sunday, Hayes, with Miller on his line, had one of the best professional games of his career.

By far one of the most intriguing storylines of the series will be the battle over who won the pre-season trade between these two teams. And we all have to admit, it should be a great series, worthy of everyone's attention.

While Derick Brassard led the Sens in points with eight, and Erik Karlsson was being his usual phenomenal self, MacArthur had a memorable series of his own en route to helping the Sens eliminate the Bruins. The 26-year-old defenseman revealed this week that he's been playing with hairline fractures in his left heel since the end of March. Between games five and six, Karlsson spent 71:44 on the ice. While still not 100 percent, Karlsson's heel has been improving as the postseason progresses. So they have a good chance of pulling of a win in Game 2.

Lundqvist had a 1.70 goals-against average and a.947 save percentage in the first round against Montreal.

Then again, Lundqvist is one of the best of his era.

Henrik Lundqvist has been the man in NY for years.

Had chalk held, we would be looking at an Original Six Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. Ottawa's penalty kill looked unstoppable at times against the league's best power play, and the Rangers only managed to get a single power play marker once on 15 attempts versus the Canadiens.

The Senators could get a boost from the return of Tom Pyatt, a defensively sound winger who was knocked out of the Bruins series with an upper-body injury in Game 4.

Ottawa's neutral zone trap is going to be tough to crack. As the series continues, expect Karlsson's mounting minutes to take their toll on the talented blueliner. On this night, he realized early he had to be good to beat Lundqvist.

Anderson wasn't tested near as much at the other end, but was forced to hang tough when McDonagh walked past a row of Senators during a NY power play and made an attempt on goal that ultimately went wide. Game 2 will be played in Ottawa on Saturday. He also has a 10-5-3 lifetime record against the Rangers in the regular season with a 1.74 GAA and.944 save percentage.

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