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New York Rangers open Stanley Cup Playoffs with 4-2 win over Ottawa Senators

April 13, 2012

When the doors to Madison Square Garden opened last night, there was a special buzz amongst the throngs of Rangers fans pouring in that must come from knowing their team has the #1 playoff seed and home ice advantage for the first time since the first Clinton administration (1996, to be precise). The New York Rangers didn’t disappoint in their matchup against the #8 seed Ottawa Senators. The game was close early on, but a couple minutes into the third period they had a 4-0 lead and the building was a-rockin’. The 4-2 final score gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in this best-of-7 series which continues tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden. Photos by Avi Gerver, ¬©Madison Square Garden, L.P.

Outside Madison Square Garden…

Outside Madison Square Garden

…and inside Madison Square Garden:

Inside Madison Square Garden

Opening faceoff:

Rangers opening faceoff

New York’s Brian Boyle faces off against Ottawa’s Jim O’Brien:

New York's Brian Boyle faces off against Ottawa's Jim O'Brien

New York’s Brandon Prust and Ottawa’s Chris Neil:

New York's Brandon Prust and Ottawa's Chris Neil

Rangers captain Ryan Callahan sets up in front of Senators goalie Craig Anderson and defenseman Chris Phillips:

Rangers captain Ryan Callahan sets up in front of Senators goalie Craig Anderson and defenseman Chris Phillips

Ryan Callahan celebrates with teammate Anton Stralman after scoring his first-period goal:

Ryan Callahan celebrates with teammate Anton Stralman after scoring his first-period goal

Rangers head coach John Tortorella address his team during a timeout:

Rangers head coach John Tortorella address his team during a timeout

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist makes one of 30 saves:

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist makes one of 30 saves

Ottawa’s Zack Smith battles for the puck with New York’s Artem Anisimov:

Ottawa's Zack Smith battles for the puck with New York's Artem Anisimov

New York’s Ryan McDonagh gets physical with Ottawa’s Milan Michalek:

New York's Ryan McDonagh gets physical with Ottawa's Milan Michalek

A Game 1 victory meant an arena full of happy fans…

A Game 1 victory meant an arena full of happy fans

…and happy Rangers players, who gave the crowd a stick salute at center ice:

Rangers playoff stick salute

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