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