Rangers continue recent struggles on home ice
Despite playing less than 24 hours before, Craig Anderson wanted to be in net when the Ottawa Senators took on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
The goalie got his wish and made 33 saves in a 2-0 shutout victory Sunday night. Anderson is 7-1-1 in nine regular-season starts at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s New York man,” Anderson said. “It’s one of those buildings there’s a lot of history. Great team over there and it’s one of those things you just get up for. The historic buildings who knows how long they’ll be around for.
“You’re fortunate enough to be a part of it and that’s kind of the way I address that mentally.”
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Stone scored in the second period.
Ottawa improved to 6-3 in the road. It also improved to 3-0 in the second night of back-to-back sets.
“To have to play here back to back on the road and get a team that’s been firing from all cylinders,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said. “One of the best offensive teams in the league and to get a shutout you can’t ask for better.”
Pageau scored 1:54 into the second. Zach Smith worked the puck behind the Rangers’ net to Tom Pyatt, who drew in two defenders and fed Pageau in front of the net for his third goal of the season.
“It was a really nice play by (Smith) and Pyatt nice pass,” Pageau said. “I was just trying to put it on net and that was in our game plan.
“Go in the blue paint and try to put pucks on net. So that’s what I tried to do.”
The Senators scored again on a power play. Stone fired a wrist shot from inside the faceoff circle for his sixth goal of the season.
Rangers goalie Antti Raanta made 18 saves in his first loss of the season. He was making his first start since Nov. 21 against Pittsburgh.
The Rangers were 8-0-1 at home through their first nine games before going 0-3-1 in their last four games at Madison Square Garden.
New York’s power play struggled against the Senators, going 0 for 4. The Senators were 1 for 3.
“We had a couple power plays with some open nets and when a team is playing that good defensively,” Derek Stepan said. “They didn’t make a single mistake — you have to execute perfectly all the way to your dumps.
“We just were a little off and they defended extremely well and that’s the story tonight.”
Ottawa forward Derick Brassard played against the Rangers for the first time since he was traded over the summer. New York sent Brassard to Ottawa on July 18 for Mika Zibanejad and a draft pick.
“I’m really thankful for the fans here and for appreciating my work here the last four years,” Brassard said.
• Rangers: Host Carolina tonight.
• Senators: Host Buffalo tonight.