Thursday night's game of the Stanley Cup semifinals between the New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was game 4 of the Eastern conference second round series and Ottawa was leading the best-of-seven series 2-1 before Thursday night's puck drop at the Garden.
The starting lineup for the home team was Tanner Glass, Derek Stepan, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Giradi, and Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes. Starting for Ottawa was Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Tom Pyatt, Marc Methot, Erik Karlsson, and Craig Anderson in net.
Going into game 4 trailing the series 2-1, Brendan Smith, a defenseman for the New York Rangers, told The Record:
"We were in the same position when we played Montreal. We came out on the right end of that. Obviously it was a different way we were down 2-1. Going into Game 4 it's basically the same situation. We've been here before and we have to have a big game."The Rangers scored first at 14:04 in the first period with a goal from Nick Holden. Holden caught a pass from Kevin Hayes to score his first playoff goal of the season, and the fourth of his career. When period 1 came to an end, the New York Rangers were up 1-0 against the Ottawa Senators.
The second period started with New York on the power play for one minute. They didn't cash in on the power play, but shortly after Michael Grabner passed to Oscar Lindberg for goal number 2. This marked back-to-back games with goals for Lindberg.
Speaking of Lindberg, with 4:06 left in period 2, it was him who scored again putting the Rangers up 3-0 over the Senators. Lindberg joined New York last season after moving up from the AHL team, the Hartford Wolf Pack. He received the the Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award for being the best rookie at camp.
Period 3 started with a new man in net for Ottawa. Coach Guy Boucher sat Craig Anderson and put in back-up goalie Mike Condon. This would be Condon's first playoff game. The 27-year-old goaltender is in his first season with the Ottawa Senators. Before that, he played for the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Chris Kreider scored goal number four for New York on the power play. Then with 6:26 left in the third period, Ottawa finally got on the score board. Kyle Turris scored high on Lundqvist, making it 4-1. And that would be the final score of game 4.
The first two games of the series were won by the Ottawa Senators. Game 1 they beat the Rangers by a score of 2-1. Then Game 2 happened and that's one that New York Rangers players and fans won't soon forget. New York blew a two-goal lead with under four minutes left in the game, causing the game to go into double overtime. New York ended up losing Game 2 by a score of 6-5.
Game 3 brought the teams to New York and finally brought the Rangers a big 4-1 win over Ottawa. After the game, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist told the New York Daily News, "There is no question, I think, that we were the better team tonight. We played with speed, emotion and determination. And we got it done, and it was great to see."
Game 5 is headed back to the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa and will take place this Saturday, May 6. Game 6 is on Tuesday, May 9, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Game 7, if necessary, will take place in Ottawa on Thursday, May 11.
The winner of this series will move on to the conference finals and play either the Washington Capitals or the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins lead the series over the Capitals 3-1.
[Featured Image by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images]