Last night Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers skated to a 3-2 victory at Scotia Bank Place in Ottawa to force a game 7 in their series with the Senators. The top seed in the East fought back from a deflating shutout loss at home in Game 5 and an early 1-0 deficit in game 6. The Atlantic Division champs had some help from an undisciplined Ottawa team who took several crucial penalties in the second period allowing the blue shirts to score three unanswered goals. A late goal was tallied by Chris Neil on what appeared to be a kick, but after review the goal on the ice was confirmed and the sens cut the lead to 3-2. One last rush was broken up by the stingy Rangers defense blocking a pass by Jason Spezza and dumping the puck to center.
The crowd in Ottawa last night welcomed back their captain Daniel Alfredsson and continued to honor him with a chant of "Alfie" with 11 minutes remaining in each period. Though Alfredsson did not register on the scoring sheet, he was a factor on the power play as the Rangers had to keep a watchful eye on the dangerous Swede. The Rangers are not expecting to have their center Brian Boyle back in the lineup on Thursday night, but they are confident going back home.
The Rangers rival from across the river hosts the Florida Panthers in a pivotal game 6 tonight as the Devils face yet another disappointing first round exit. Peter DeBoer's team has yet to win a playoff series since moving to their new home in Newark and New Jersey fans are well aware that Tuesday night could be the last time they see their captain Zach Parise in a Devil's uniform. Parise did not address whether or not he plans to resign with "Jersey's team" but he did talk about the importance of tonight's game. "It should be exciting. Its a big game", he said in an interview following their morning skate yesterday. The Devils other big name forward Ilya Kovalchuk also knows the importance of winning at home tonight. He has never advanced passed the first round in his career, despite making his third playoff appearance, the second with New Jersey. "It should be fun, in front of a sold-out crowd" was the word from the Russian sniper. A sell out is far from guaranteed but the Devils are ready to follow their division rivals and win game 6 and bring their series back to a deadlock.