What it means: Even without the bloodthirsty brutality of Saturday's match, Game 3 between the Rangers and Senators did not lack for drama. Brian Boyle silenced the jeers of a boisterous Ottawa crowd, snapping a scoreless draw with his backhander at 7:35 in the third to continue his hot streak and boost the Rangers over the Senators 1-0 at Scotiabank Place. Both Ottawa's Craig Anderson and New York's Henrik Lundqvist were tremendous, but Lundqvist prevailed with a 39-save effort for his 44th career shutout and ninth of the season. With the win, the Rangers took a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4 on Wednesday.
On a roll: Taunted throughout the match, Boyle responded by backhanding the puck past Anderson for the game's first and only goal. It was Boyle's third goal in as many games.
Kreider debut: One week after coming out of college and signing with the Rangers, Chris Kreider made his NHL debut in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The 20-year-old winger, who replaced a suspended Carl Hagelin in the lineup, was thrown right into the fire, too. He skated on a line with center Brad Richards and winger Marian Gaborik.
Boo birds: Still upset about his treatment of Ottawa's prized young defenseman Erik Karlsson, the sellout crowd at Scotiabank Place booed and taunted Boyle throughout the game. After roughing up Karlsson in Game 1, Boyle was targeted two nights later. Defenseman Matt Carkner was suspended after pummeling Boyle 2:15 into play Saturday, and Sens tough guy Chris Neil dropped the gloves with him later in the period.
Alfredsson out: The Senators played their first home-ice playoff game of 2012 without captain Daniel Alfredsson, who said he suffered a concussion from Hagelin’s hit on Saturday night. Although the veteran forward made improvement after the team’s morning skate on Monday, the Senators decided to hold him out. Hagelin served the first game of a three-game suspension for the hit.
Up Next: Rangers at Senators, Game 4, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.