New York, NY – The top seed in the Eastern Conference looked every bit the part on Thursday as the Rangers dominated the Senators, 4-2, in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
New York has the No. 1 seed in the for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup in 1994 and took the lead thanks to Henrik Lundqvist's 30 saves.
Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan all scored for New York, which is looking for its first playoff series victory since 2008.
Craig Anderson was tagged for all four goals on 31 shots for the Senators, who have made the playoffs just twice since going to the Finals in 2007 and have lost in the opening round both times. Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Condra scored in the second half of the third period to keep the game from being a rout.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday night in New York.
The Rangers took the lead 12:01 into the game. Good work in the offensive zone netted a shot by Anton Stralman at the right point that was stopped, but the rebound went to the low right circle and Callahan swept it in from there.
Lundqvist made 13 stops in the first period and kept the lead on a sequence five minutes into the second when he made stops on Daniel Alfredsson and Chris Phillips.
New York's netminder was at it again about nine minutes into the second when he made a stop on Jim O'Brien, who danced down the left wing and cut to the front before lifting a shot high that Lundqvist turned aside.
New York then took control of the game with two goals late in the second.
The first came unassisted from Gaborik, who kept a clear in at the right point, snuck down low and got Anderson to open the legs before slipping it in at the 16:24 mark.
In the final minute of the second, a quick shot from Boyle in the high slot hit off the stick of a Senator and went into the left corner with just 53.8 seconds showing on the clock.
The Rangers kept their foot on the pedal coming out of the second intermission as Carl Hagelin centered the puck from the deep right boards and Richards put it in for a 4-0 lead 2:15 into the third.
Alfredsson scored on a deflection in front off a left point shot from Jason Spezza at the 10:05 mark of the third to get Ottawa on the board.
The Senators cut their deficit to two when Nick Foligno sent a pass from the right circle to the low left circle and Condra wristed a rolling puck in, but it came with 2:19 to play and the Senators got no further.
This is the first time the teams are meeting in the playoffs...It was Alfredsson's 46th playoff goal...Ottawa took three of four from the Rangers in the regular season, including both games in New York...Neither side scored on the man advantage as New York had four chances and Ottawa three...Artem Anisimov had two assists for the Rangers.