The New York Rangers dropped tonight's contest as the Senators scored a late third period goal to take the game 3-2.
After going down 2-0 early on in the game, the Rangers were able to fight back and tie the game late in the third period. The Senators kept to their game plan, and with the Rangers having some heavy legs in their second game of the back-to-back, converted on a late third period goal to take the win.
The Rangers got out to a very good start, and controlled most of the play in the offensive zone. That pressure was soon halted by the Ottawa Senators as Zack Smith opened the scoring and gave them the earlier 1-0 lead. Smith got a piece of Gonchar's initial shot from the point, and redirected it low on Henrik Lundqvist who picked up the puck late through a crowd of bodies. Just four minutes later, on the power play, Patrick Wiercioch scored through a ton of bodies to give the Senators a 2-0 lead.
Again, there was so much traffic in front of the net, it gave Lundqvist very little time to locate and react to the puck. After the last Senators goal, the Rangers kicked it right back into gear as Rick Nash came down off of the ensuing faceoff and beat Robin Lehner with a wrister from the slot. Lehnr was shaky all throughout the first period, and soon after Nash cut the lead to one, Brad Richards knotted the game up at two.
This was Richards first game back since Patrick Kalet's check from behind that held him out of the last two contests. Carl Hagelin made a great play to gain the zone, and drop passed it to Richards from just inside the left faceoff circle. Richards got everything on the snap shot, and picked the right corner on Lehner. While the first ten minutes of the period the Rangers would have liked to have back, they weathered the storm and marched right back into this game.
There wasn't much scoring in the second period, but there were some great chances from both teams. Lots of back and forth action, but no goals to show. A majority of the third period was much of the same, until what I believe was the turning point of the game, occurred. Marian Gaborik had the puck behind the net and made a beautiful to Derek Stepan cutting to the slot, and Lehner made a last second blocker save and kept the game tied.
It was just a nicely setup play that the goaltender was able to get a piece of, and ultimately wound up saving the game for his team and getting them two points. With just under five minutes to play, the Rangers began to slow down quite a bit after playing last night on Long Island, and it eventually lead to the game winning goal.
The Rangers were caught in their own end for quite a bit of time, until Jakob Silfverberg picked up the rebound in front of Lundvist, and jammed it home. With the Senators not playing last night, the final half of the game is when they used that to their advantage. Even though the Rangers didn't come away with any sort of points in this game, there's no denying that they didn't have any chances.
The Rangers will have a day off now before they head on the road to take on the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon.