NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 12: The New York Rangers celebrate with goalie Henrik Lundqvist #30 after they won 4-2 against the Ottawa Senators in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
The Rangers cruised to an easy win in Game 1, part of the spoils of being the Eastern Conference top seed.
The 4-2 final score flattered the Senators, as the night saw the Rangers steadily build a 4-0 lead over three periods. The Rangers' forecheck and disciplined backchecking appeared to confound the Senators, and the result was the kind of easy Game 1 victory you'd expect from a top seed like the Rangers.
The only mildly scary moment was when the Senators strung together a few threatening shifts when the Rangers lead was still just 1-0. But a John Tortorella timeout seemed to calm things down, and before long the Rangers had expanded the Senators' deficit.
With a coach who makes smart adjustments like Paul MacLean and a squad that beat the Rangers three out of four times in the regular season, the Senators are by no means a conquered team after one loss. But the Rangers' big lead with goals from their top three offensive stars -- Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan -- had to make the Senators feel like they ran into a true top seed.
The Senators are a surprise playoff team who didn't qualify until the final week of the season. Meanwhile, the Rangers led the conference all year and were just points away from a President's Trophy even on the last day of the season.
In Game 1, both teams played to type.