Rangers back in series with Sens
NEW YORK — 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 the Rangers who still trail the best-of-seven series 2-1, with Game 4 Thursday still in New York.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau replied for Ottawa, while Craig Anderson stopped 26 shots.
For a team that 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 point-blank 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 fivehole. Lindberg pushed the lead 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 with only Tanner Glass replacing Pavel Buchnevich on the fourth line.
Rangers players celebrate Michael Grabner’s second-period goal that gave them a 2-0 lead Tuesday night in New York.