It's do or die for the Rangers tonight, as they head into Ottawa down 3-2 following Saturday night's 2-0 shutout at the hands of the Senators.
According to ESPN New York, the Rangers are just 1-16 in series when they’ve trailed 3-2 going into Game 6. Their only win, though, was in 1994 against the New Jersey Devils. Since the lockout, teams have overcome 3-2 deficits just six times.
Brian Boyle did not accompany the team to Ottawa following his concussion at the hands — or shoulder — of Chris Neil in Game 5 Saturday night. Head coach John Tortorella said there was no update on his condition.
“I’m very confident we can go win a game without him (Boyle),” said Brad Richards. “We’re just concerned about his health.”
The Rangers will have Carl Hagelin back in the lineup for Game 6. The rookie winger was suspended three games for his hit to the head on Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, leaving him with a concussion.
“He brings so much speed to the game, just on the forecheck, creating turnovers, and so much energy,” said Ryan Callahan of the 23-year-old Swede. “So to have him back, I think, will be big for us.”
The return of Hagelin should put the Rangers' top line of Hagelin, Richards and Marian Gaborik back together. The trio had a dominant Game 1, and played well in Game 2.
The Boyle injury allows the Rangers to keep rookie Chris Kreider in the lineup. As written here yesterday, expect the former first-round pick to take on more minutes at the team searches for offense.
Alfredsson was on the ice at the Senators’ morning skate this morning, and reports stated the 39-year-old will be in the lineup tonight for Game 6.
“It doesn’t change anything for us” that Alfredsson is playing,” said Henrik Lundqvist after today’s morning skate. “We have to shut everything out and not overthink this. We just have to get it done.”
The Senators got a jump from rookie Mark Stone in Game 5, and could be looking for another rookie, 2009 second-round pick Jakob Silfverberg could dress tonight as well. He spent the season in the Swedish Elite League with Brynas, who won the league championship.
According to RDS, Silfverberg will be in the lineup tonight in place of Stone.
“He was just the Swedis Elite League MVP, and his team just won the championship and he was their best player, I like that,” said Senators head coach Paul MacLean about Silfverberg.
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Photo:April 15, 2012 - Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America)