Shortly after the Rangers closed out the 2011-12 regular season with a 4-1 home-ice loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday night they found out whom they will face in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Rangers, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, will face the Ottawa Senators, the East's eighth seed, in the best-of-seven Conference Quarterfinals beginning Thursday at 7 p.m. at The Garden. The National Hockey League announced the full schedule on Sunday.
"This team here, the New York Rangers, can beat anybody in this league," head coach John Tortorella declared following Saturday's game, and before he knew the Blueshirts would face the Senators in the playoffs. "We're just looking forward to getting started."
The Rangers were 1-2-1 against the Senators this season, dropping a 5-4 overtime decision on October 29th and a 3-0 shutout on January 12th on home ice, while securing a 3-2 win on November 9th in Ottawa before losing 4-1 on March 8th on the road.