WAY TO GO GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have to say, as nervous as I was since the Sens scored halfway through the first period, my adrenalin rush is now complete and I can sit still long enough to sit at my computer!!!
FINALLY the Sens lead in a game and NEVER GIVE IT UP!!!
Craig Anderson was THE BOMB in nets tonight stopping 41 shots for his second alltime playoff shutout, first with Ottawa. And he was so cool, calm and collected out there. Never seemed rattled. Smothering the puck when necessary, directing rebounds where he wanted them to go and making outstanding saves whenever he needed to. Outstanding game!!
Have to say that Anderson's d-men worked hard to help their 'tender get the zero. He was seldom screened effectively as they were moving people out of the way regularly and at other times moving the shooters off into the corners so they couldn't get good shots away. And I agree with Jason ^^ Cowen did nothing to get that penalty early on other than cover his Ranger who suddenly fell when the ref was looking. Gonchar is looking like the dman who played for the Penguins....he's steady in the back end not letting Rangers get by him and clearing the puck with efficiency. Even though Karlsson is not getting the room for his breakouts, due to the coverage of the Rangers, but he is still playing well (and cutting his hair did not jinx him at all!
). Phillips is laying on the hits when necessary but also playing very well when he has the puck. Kuba is skating strong on the puck. And Carkner, while certainly not perfect defensively, is a presence out there and it would seem that the Rangers do NOT want to disturb the big hulk!!
Neil had another strong game physically tonight - and I am not referring only to the hit he laid on Boyle in the third (I just heard on the postgame show that it's being reported that Boyle has "concussion symptoms".......unusual for that term to be used rather than "upper body injury"...are the Rangers trying to get Shanahan to look at the hit?!?). Neil played a hard, strong game and was rewarded with some first line PP minutes. He does open space for his linemates when he is out there and I am impressed with how MacLean juggles his lines throughout the game to maximize what players are doing well in any given game.
I can only imagine how excited Mark Stone was to be playing his first ever NHL game not only in MSG but in a playoff game. Heck! I was excited FOR him!! So when he made such a beautiful pass to Jason Spezza for the game's first goal, had I been his mother in the stands (his parents flew in for the game) I likely would have fainted from excitement!! I hope one of the Sens remembered to grab that puck for him! The youngster played very well for his debut and didn't look out of place when he was out there.
Konopka went 82% in the faceoff circle tonight. I was wondering if that was some sort of Sens record particularly in the playoffs! Great job!! And no penalties (if my memory serves me) for him.
Wicked shot from Spezza when he scored his first goal of the night on that gorgeous feed. Bet he felt good to get that monkey off his back!! The ENG goal was gravy and certainly made the butterflies finally settle down for this fan!
The three stars for CBC on the night were: #3 - Lundqvuist; #2 - Spezza; #1 - Anderson.
The three stars were the same for the Team and the Hardest Working Senator was Gonchar.
I am going to be a mess all day Monday in anticipation of Game #6!
GO SENS GO!!!!!!!!