Hen­rik Lundqvist’s 26-save per­for­mance leads Rangers past Se­na­tors 4-1

Cape Breton Post - - Sports -

Hen­rik Lundqvist made 26 saves to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Ot­tawa Se­na­tors on Tues­day night in Game 3 of their East­ern Con­fer­ence semi­fi­nal.

Mats Zuc­carello, Michael Grab­ner, Rick Nash and Os­car Lind­berg scored for New York, which still trails the best-of­seven 2-1 with Game 4 set for Thurs­day night at Madi­son Square Gar­den.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau replied for Ot­tawa, while Craig An­der­son stopped 26 shots.

For a team which col­lec­tively spoke Mon­day about its un­der­stand­ing that the Rangers would be des­per­ate to sal­vage their sea­son, the Se­na­tors ap­peared over­whelmed by the pres­sure New York opened the game with.

When the first pe­riod ended, Ot­tawa trailed 2-0, had been out­shot 15-5 and out-at­tempted 26-12. The Se­na­tors were out­shot 30-27 and out-at­tempted 56-54 by the end of the game.

New York took a 1-0 lead on Zuc­carello’s fourth goal of the play­offs just 5:31 into the game. The play was made by for­mer Sen­a­tor Mika Zibane­jad, who car­ried the puck around the net be­fore find­ing Zuc­carello driv­ing down the slot for a point­blank scor­ing op­por­tu­nity.

An­der­son and Ben Harpur’s mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion set up New York’s sec­ond goal as both the Ot­tawa goal­tender and the rookie de­fence­man at­tempted to play a Zuc­carello dump-in be­hind the net. An­der­son came half­way out of his net while Harpur couldn’t con­trol the puck. Grab­ner jumped on the loose puck and tucked it into the net to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead with 6:36 left in the pe­riod.

Es­sen­tially, the out­come of the game was de­cided 12:21 into the sec­ond when Nash fired his third of the play­offs through An­der­son’s five-hole. The play be­gan with New York cen­tre Derek Stepan car­ry­ing the puck into the of­fen­sive with Nash on his wing and Marc Methot de­fend­ing. Stepan found Nash with a pass and the New York winger did not have any other op­tion to shoot as Methot had dropped to the ice in an at­tempt to take away a pass­ing lane.

Lind­berg pushed the ad­van­tage to 4-0 with his first ca­reer play­off goal with 1:43 left in the sec­ond, 32 sec­onds be­fore Pageau scored to spoil Lundqvist’s shutout bid.

The Rangers skated a nearly iden­ti­cal lineup from Game 2 _ de­spite a shock­ing late-game col­lapse _ with the only change be­ing Tan­ner Glass re­plac­ing Pavel Buch­nevich on the fourth line.

Ot­tawa lost cen­tre Zack Smith and right-winger Bobby Ryan to in­juries dur­ing Tues­day’s game. Smith only skated three first pe­riod shifts to­talling 1:50. His last shift be­gan at 9:03 of the first and ended at 9:27 be­fore leav­ing with what the team called ``an up­per body in­jury.’’ Ryan left with about 12 min­utes left in the game af­ter be­ing struck by a shot.

AP PHOTO

Ot­tawa Se­na­tors goalie Craig An­der­son (41) and team­mate Ben Harpur MPPL BXBZ BT UIF /FX :PSL 3BOHFST DFMFCSBUF B HPBM CZ .JDIBFM (SBCner dur­ing the first pe­riod of Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stan­ley Cup sec­ond

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