"Their window to win a Stanley Cup is right now, and they have an opportunity right now to win the Cup," Senators winger Alex Burrows said on Friday of the Rangers. "They're not coming in just to play and see what happens."
What happened in Game 1 on Thursday was a 2-1 Ottawa win, thanks to captain Erik Karlsson's tiebreaking goal from behind the goal line that went in off the head of goalie Henrik Lundqvist with 4:11 left in the third period.
Afterward, Senators coach Guy Boucher said his team was motivated by the fear of being swept by the favored Rangers.
"It's a pretty good line," New York coach Alain Vigneault said with a smile Friday. "I'll remember it next time. It's a great line."
Burrows maintained the Senators feel like they're up against a juggernaut.
"They really have the mindset that they have the team to do it and I do believe they have the team to do it," Burrows said. "For us, we had some fear playing them (Thursday). We saw them play against Montreal (in the first round), the best team in our division, and they were able to win that series. We know what to expect. We know they're great team, but yes, we had some fear."
Ottawa outshot the Rangers 43-35 in the opener, with Lundqvist stopping all 21 shots he faced in the first period.
The Senators believe they have to keep firing the rubber at Lundqvist in Game 2, which is set for Saturday afternoon (3 p.m. ET) at Canadian Tire Centre.
"Did we get more shots than we expected to get? Yes," Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. "But that was our plan. We know we can't beat this guy with 20 shots. We can't even beat him with 30 shots. We're going to need 40 shots and above. Even with over 40 shots and so many high-end scoring chances, we only got two in. That's how it's going to be."
Vigneault indicated he was satisfied with the way his team played 5-on-5, but while both teams were 1-for-4 on the power play, he felt the Senators picked up more momentum during their man-advantage situations.
Vigneault also said he may make lineup changes for Saturday, while Boucher is leaning toward sticking with the same group, even though winger Tom Pyatt has been cleared to return.
Pyatt could have ample opportunities to get back in the lineup over the next two weeks.
"We're prepared for a long series," Rangers center and former Senator Mika Zibanejad said. "We're prepared for a good series. We know it's a good team. If they want to try and low-ball themselves that's up to them, but they're good team, It's going to be a tough team to beat and we've got to make sure we really step it up and bring our A game
"It's an unlucky bounce that turns the game to 2-1 and a win for them. We've got to be on top of our game and make sure the bounces go our way."