So here we are just hours before a critical Game 5 at Madison Square Garden. Been here since 10, writing my Sunday Insider and an early story for the paper---just in case there's another overtime that busts our first deadline....Oh the joys of print journalism.
Time for a quick stress relieving trip to the gym.
It’ll probably take three goals to win this one, and force the losing team to win two straight, which neither has been able to do in the first four games of this best-of-seven series.
“It’s pretty even,” said Henrik Lundqvist after the morning skate. “It could be 3-1 for us and I think it could be 3-1 for them. Now it’s who pushes themselves more and doesn’t make mistakes.” Craig Anderson will be in the net again for the Senators.
“We just have to find some offense, take advantage of how the ice tightens and come up big,” said Marian Gaborik, who has one goal and seven shots so far. “It’s very tight, it’s been tight for these four games. Obviously, we miss (Carl Hagelin) in the lineup but it is what it is.”
As in the third period of Game 4, it appears the lines (to start anyway) will be Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan and Gaborik and Brandon Dubinsky-Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan. The latter was the most effective line in the period, said coach John Tortorella.
“Lines change,” Gaborik said. “We just have to find a way. Whoever is playing with whoever, we just have to find ways to create some offense. We’ve been standing back a little bit. We have to get in on the forecheck and be more aggressive. The series is tight. We have to get into the blue and create traffic in front of (Craig) Anderson). We have to do more, myself and everybody.”
D Steve Eminger, out for the past 16 games with an ankle sprain, is now listed as “day-to-day” and could play in Game 6 on Monday in Ottawa, along with Carl Hagelin, who will have served his three game suspension for the hit on Daniel Alfredsson in Game 2. Alfredsson (concussion) is still in Ottawa, and coach Paul MacLean said he skated and “made progress”
For the Rangers, it appears the lineup will remain the same, at least on defense. For the Senators, Mark Stone apparently will make his NHL debut. The 19-year-old Winnipeg native, who finished his fourth season with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, would replace Jesse Winchester.