For the third time in the last two weeks the Rangers blew a third period lead and as happened last Thursday against the Islanders, it ended in a shootout loss. With three Rangers forwards, including Rick Nash, out with injury and seemingly every key Senator on the shelf, this could have been a dud of a game. It was a huge improvement over Tuesday’s performance in Montreal, but in the end New York ended up with a single point.
Ottawa took the lead early in the first and held on until midway through the final frame when Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh scored 52 seconds apart. Unfortunately, the Blueshirts handed the game right back 2:55 later as Mika Zibanejad knotted the score. Another riveting overtime period followed and then the teams engaged in a seven-round shootout before the Senators finally prevailed.
Considering who the Senators were missing coming in (Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek) and that Ottawa’s starting netminder, Craig Anderson, got hurt early in the third period, two points were the expectation. It should have been the end result; the Rangers had plenty of chances including a disallowed goal in the third period, a post by Marian Gaborik in overtime and a whiff on an empty net by J.T. Miller in the shootout. Still, to get a point on the road without Nash isn’t the worst thing in the world. On to the goals:
Senators 1, Rangers 0
The Senators took an early lead with the Rangers’ atrocious power play on the ice despite a solid start to the game from the Blueshirts. Michael Del Zotto was unable to hold on to a Taylor Pyatt pass at the point and rookie Jakob Silfverberg picked it up in the neutral zone. Dan Girardi closed on Silfverberg and was able to ride him to the outside in the Rangers’ zone, but Silfverberg (6-1, 200) shook Girardi off and glided to the front of the net. There, Silfverberg roofed a backhander over Henrik Lundqvist. Insult to injury for New York on the man advantage.
Rangers 1, Senators 1
This should read 2-1 – a Jeff Halpern goal was waved off earlier in the period after a quick whistle. Still, the Blueshirts finally scored on the power play at a crucial time to even the score at one. An ugly looking sprained ankle took Anderson out of the game just minutes into the third period and New York took advantage of the man advantage against a cold goalie. Del Zotto was injured along the boards (and didn’t return to the game), but the Rangers were able to maintain a decent cycle in the offensive zone. Eventually a Marc Staal point shot deflected wide and Ryan Callahan (who else?) put the puck past Ben Bishop.
Rangers 2, Senators 1
Just 52 seconds later, the Rangers took the lead. New York kept the pressure on and the line of Pyatt/Halpern/Miller ended up setting up the goal. Pyatt gathered in his own rebound and dished to Halpern behind the net, who quickly cycled to Miller. The rookie did a good job shielding the puck and passed to McDonagh at the point. A simple shot through traffic eluded Bishop through his five-hole.
Rangers 2, Senators 2
Unfortunately the Rangers lead was short-lived. Brian Boyle took a holding penalty trying to slow down Zibanejad just 1:44 after the McDonagh goal and the Senators wasted no time on the man advantage. Zack Smith won the faceoff and though the Rangers’ penalty killers turned away a couple of shots, the puck bounced over to Zibanejad for an easy shot on an open net (pretty much the same thing that happened on Brad Marchand’s tying goal last week).
Senators: Alfredsson (stopped), Silfverberg (scored), Turris (stopped), Zibanejad (missed), Smith (missed), Wiercioch (missed), Daugavins (scored)
Rangers: Gaborik (stopped), Callahan (scored), Stepan (stopped), Richards (missed), Hagelin (missed), Miller (missed), Kreider (stopped)