Lundqvist’s 22-save per­for­mance lifts Rangers over Se­na­tors; se­ries tied 2-2

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY DE­NIS P. GORMAN

Hen­rik Lundqvist made 22 saves to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Ot­tawa Se­na­tors on Thurs­day night in Game 4 of the Eastern Con­fer­ence semi­fi­nal.

The best-of-seven se­ries is tied 2-2. Game 5 is Satur­day af­ter­noon at Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre.

Os­car Lind­berg scored twice for the Rangers, and Nick Holden and Chris Krei­der each added a goal. New York’s bot­tom six for­wards did the heavy lift­ing of­fen­sively, as that group fin­ished with two goals and five as­sists for seven points in the win. Tan­ner Glass recorded two as­sists, and the tri­umvi­rate of Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller and Michael Grab­ner each had an as­sist.

Kyle Tur­ris scored the Se­na­tors’ lone goal as Ot­tawa dropped its sec­ond straight in the se­ries, but that is a sub­plot to po­ten­tially three big­ger is­sues. First is that cap­tain Erik Karls­son did not play the third pe­riod. Karls­son, who said after the Game 6 win over Bos­ton in the Eastern Con­fer­ence quar­ter-fi­nal he had been play­ing with two hair­line frac­tures in his left heel, fell awk­wardly

late in the sec­ond after bat­tling for a puck along the boards with Miller. Karls­son fin­ished with a shot and three at­tempted shots in 14:54 of ice time span­ning the first two pe­ri­ods.

The sec­ond is­sue for Ot­tawa is that Craig An­der­son al­lowed three goals on 20 shots in two pe­ri­ods be­fore be­ing re­placed by Mike Condon. Condon stopped 9-of-10 shots in the third.

Fi­nally, the Se­na­tors also lost their com­po­sure, es­pe­cially in the third pe­riod. Dion Pha­neuf was ejected late in the third for fight­ing Bren­dan Smith — who was also ejected — and Bobby Ryan was as­sessed a two-minute mi­nor for slash­ing Dan Gi­rardi and a 10-minute mis­con­duct with 2:28 left.

The fi­nal 30 sec­onds of play de­volved into a se­ries of fights be­gin­ning with a bout in­volv­ing Glass and Tur­ris. The fol­low­ing face­off saw the on-ice of­fi­ci­at­ing crew have to break up wrestling matches in­volv­ing play­ers from both sides.

Dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s off day, Ot­tawa head coach Guy Boucher spoke about the need to play tighter de­fen­sively in the neu­tral zone and in their end of the ice. And the Se­na­tors’ struc­ture was sounder than it had been in Games 2 and 3. The game re­sem­bled a mod­ern-era play­off hockey in­stead of the free flow­ing style New York em­ploys.

Yet it was the Rangers who opened the scor­ing for the fourth straight game with Holden’s per­fectly placed shot be­tween An­der­son’s blocker and pad at 14:04 of the first giv­ing New York a 1-0 lead. Holden’s goal was his first of 2017 play­offs and his fourth ca­reer goal in the Stan­ley Cup play­offs. He scored three times in Colorado’s seven play­off games in 2013-14.

The deficit after one pe­riod was 1-0. By the sec­ond in­ter­mis­sion, it was 3-0 due to the play of Lind­berg and New York’s fourth line.

AP PHOTO

New York Rangers’ Chris Krei­der (20) and Ot­tawa Se­na­tors’ Dion Pha­neuf (2) fight dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stan­ley Cup sec­ond-round play­off se­ries Thurs­day in New York.

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