Rangers con­tinue re­cent strug­gles on home ice

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Chris­tian Arnold

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.

UP NEXT:

• Rangers: Host Carolina tonight.

• Sen­a­tors: Host Buf­falo tonight.

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