Lundqvist, Rangers stunned by loss to Sens

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

OT­TAWA — Goal­tender Hen­rik Lundqvist was still in a state of dis­be­lief af­ter the New York Rangers’ stun­ning 6-5 dou­ble over­time loss to the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors on Satur­day.

Ot­tawa holds a 2-0 se­ries lead in the best-of-seven semi­fi­nal. Game 3 is Tues­day in New York City.

The Rangers led 5-3 with 3:19 re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion be­fore JeanGabriel Pageau scored twice to tie the game for the Sen­a­tors and force over­time. Pageau scored the win­ner, his fourth of the game, at 2:54 of the sec­ond over­time.

“We played well enough to win this game, there’s no question about it, so it’s re­ally tough to lose this one,” said Lundqvist. “Clearly they’ve got­ten the bounces in the first two games. We’ve just got to go home and re­group. It’s a re­ally tough loss be­ing up a cou­ple goals, es­pe­cially late in the game.”

The diminu­tive Pageau, gen­er­ously listed at five-foot-10, scored two of his four goals on de­flec­tions, in­clud­ing the ty­ing goal.

“That last de­flec­tion I don’t even know how he did that,” said Lundqvist. “The way he an­gled the stick he didn’t even know he hit the net, I think. He was good tonight. They made some good plays.”

For the sec­ond straight game Lundqvist car­ried much of the blame, de­spite the fact he didn’t al­ways have much help.

“I wasn’t good enough com­ing up with the ex­tra save in the end. It’s my job even though it’s tough play­ing some de­flec­tions, I’ve got to find a way. It’s go­ing to be tough tonight, to­mor­row and then you move on. There’s no other way. Go home and get a good prac­tice in a cou­ple days and then fo­cus on Game 3 and re­ally get the win in that one.”

For the most part coach Alain Vigneault liked what his team did and at no time did the Rangers feel like they were los­ing con­trol of the game: “We were play­ing a real good game. We were do­ing what we needed to do and they made the most of their op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Af­ter hav­ing done so many things well in this game it was no sur­prise the Rangers were feel­ing a lit­tle shell-shocked.

New York killed three straight penal­ties and took the lead with a short-handed goal and then took a 3-1 lead with a sec­ond short-handed goal, mark­ing the first time since 1992 that the Rangers scored two short-handed goals in a play­off game. Brady Sk­jei scored twice, also mark­ing the first time a de­fence­man had scored twice in a play­off game since Brian Leetch in 1995.

“It’s a good thing we’ve got two days here be­cause it might take a full day to let this one go,” said Rangers cap­tain Ryan McDonagh. “Then we get an op­por­tu­nity to prac­tice and get our en­ergy level back and our ex­e­cu­tion go­ing back and our fo­cus in the right di­rec­tion lead­ing up to the game. We’ll take it one step at a time, one day a time. Our group’s not go­ing to give up here, we’re go­ing to come out hard in our build­ing.”

“This is a tough one for us I be­lieve,” said Dan Gi­rardi. “I think we had a good ef­fort for the most part, it was just that last five min­utes or so. I don’t have much to say about it, it’s just hard to de­scribe.”

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