The Rangers head into Game 6 against the Senators Monday facing elimination without their most consistent forward of the series, Brian Boyle.
Concussed in Game 5 on a hit from Chris Neil, Boyle did not make the trip to be with the team. His absence will be a big one for the Rangers. Beyond his offensive contributions -- Boyle tallied three goals in the first three games of the series -- the 6-6 center has played a huge role on the team's penalty kill and taken key faceoffs.
"It's a big loss," said captain Ryan Callahan. "Everybody knows the type of playoffs he's having. But at the same time, somebody else has got to step up."
With the Senators leading the series 3-2 and relishing the opportunity to close out the series at home Monday night with captain Daniel Alfredsson back in the lineup, the Rangers know they cannot afford to dwell on Boyle's absence. They'll have to rally around the loss and deliver a performance far superior to that in Saturday night's 2-0 shutout .
"No matter who's in the lineup, we have to play our best game of the year," said alternate captain Brad Richards.
Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin also returns to the series Monday after serving a three-game suspension for his hit that forced Alfredsson in Game 2.