The Rangers held an optional morning skate at Madison Square Garden Saturday prior to this evening's Game Two of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series vs. the Ottawa Senators. Head coach John Tortorella said that he will dress the same lineup this evening as he did in the series opener Thursday, meaning that Chris Kreider, Jeff Woywitka, John Scott, and the injured Steve Eminger all will be scratched again.
Torts had little else to say in his morning press briefing with the media, though he did send the following message to his team, "We're going to have to be better...everywhere (in all areas)...that's the lay of the land (in the playoffs)".
Veteran forward Mike Rupp, a Stanley Cup winner with New Jersey back in 2003, agreed completely with Tortorella.
"I think as this thing progresses we're going to have to elevate our game, each individual will have to elevate his own game," explained Rupp. "There's no complacency here and we know that we have got to do better because that's a good hockey team we are playing against, and we know they will be better."
Tortorella and several players have emphasized since Thursday that the Rangers did a good job of handling the momentum swings of Game One, and doing so in each game moving forward will be vital in this best-of-seven series.
"Playoff games are going to be full of ups and downs and they're going to have some (offensive) zone time," explained defenseman Dan Girardi. "It's how you handle those times that can ultimately decide games. I thought (Thursday) they were in our end for a while, but didn't get anything against us and Hank made a few big saves, and then we came back, got a couple of goals, and that helped a lot."
Henrik Lundqvist and Craig Anderson will once again face each other in goal tonight as the Rangers seek to grab a 2-0 series lead.