By Brian Monzo
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The Rangers head into Game 2 on Saturday night at MSG with a 1-0 series lead over the Senators.

Last night the Rangers came out playing exactly how they’ve played all season, and wrapped up the first period with a 1-0 lead. In the second period the tables would turn, and the Senators would come out flying. Jason Spezza had a near breakaway, which was stopped by a motivated Henrik Lundqvist. That, along with other things, would get John Tortorella’s attention, causing him to call a well-placed timeout. From there the Rangers would get back on track and score two late-period goals, and from there would go on to win, 4-2. Game 1, in the books.

This game defined what the Rangers have done all season. They worked harder than the opposing team for the majority of the game and found ways to score timely goals. Also, clutch goaltending helped. Lundqvist found a way to keep the game 1-0 in the second period, allowing the Rangers to regroup and find a way to win.

In Game 2 the Rangers need to do the exact same thing. They came out with energy, and got inspired play from their best players — which is the formula for winning hockey. Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan and Lundqvist led the Rangers, but it was two other players that impressed me. Carl Hagelin and Brian Boyle both played huge roles in the Rangers’ win.

Hagelin had a key assist on Richards’ goal, but was all over the ice, finding pucks and creating opportunities. Boyle continued where he left off in the regular season and scored a huge goal. Boyle kills power plays, wins face-offs and has added a much-needed physical aspect to his game.

If the Rangers are going to win this series, they are going to continue to need to get good play from their entire roster. I would look for Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan to be heavily involved in the offense the rest of the way. Both played well in Game 1, but were unable to get on the scoreboard. Marc Staal played his best game since returning from his concussion in January. It’s amazing what the playoffs can do.

See you at Game 2.

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Rangers fans, what is your prediction for Game 2? Sound off with your comments below…

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