NHL Playoffs 2012: How the NY Rangers Can Extend Their Series to 7 Games

Cat Zambito@@catzambitoContributor IApril 23, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21:  Zack Smith #15 of the Ottawa Senators gets checked by Anton Stralman #32 of the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 21, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

I think everyone needs to just relax and not panic.  

If the New York Rangers themselves aren't, then why are we as fans already giving up?

Well, I for one am not.

The Rangers have always managed to bounce back no matter what the adversity during the regular season, and there is no reason to assume that will not be the case in Game 6 in Ottawa Monday night.

They are a strong team on the road, despite their missing playoff hero, Brian Boyle, who is out of the lineup due to a concussion from Senators goon, Chris Neil (yet another terrible decision by Brendan Shanahan to not punish such a severe hit).

Carl Hagelin, however, will be back in the lineup after serving his three-game suspension from concussing Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, which should add the speed and dynamo that is needed back on the Brad Richards/Marian Gaborik line.

It should also add the scoring opportunities that are so desperately needed.

It is a matter of principle at this point, and the Rangers didn't come this far to just lie down and choke at the most critical time.

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We watched as they battled back from a fast advancing Pittsburgh Penguins team for first in the Atlantic Division, as well as Eastern Conference and they were able to clinch the top seed with flying colors once the pressure was put on.

And, we will definitely see more of the same tonight.

Also, lets not forget that they had 41 shots on goal in Game 5 with Henrik Lundqvist only allowing one goal.

They played their hearts out in Game 5, but Senators goalie Craig Anderson was undefeatable.

That will not be the case Monday night.  If the Rangers keep charging the net like they did and improve their power play opportunities (which I am sure head coach John Tortorella drilled into them the last two days), we should see a Rangers team similar to Game 1 of the series.

The Rangers are hungry for this win.  

They want it, need it and most importantly, deserve it.

The defending Stanley Cup Champ Boston Bruins forced a Game 7 against the Washington Capitals yesterday afternoon and the Rangers will do the same tonight.

They have grit, they have determination and they (like in the movie "The Outsiders") want to "do it for Johnny."  (Johnny being Brian Boyle in this case.)

So the secret to tonight's success will be:

1)Carl Hagelin's return

2)Power play improvement

3)Lundqvist's continued excellence in net

4)Keeping up the strong defensive play

5)Charging the net

6)Strong forecheck and

7)Continuing to use the body