The New York Rangers fell to the Ottawa Senators by a final score of 2-1, in the opening game of the second round this evening. As usual, Henrik Lundqvist was dominant and turned aside the early surges from the Senators during the first period. The Rangers were probably fortunate to remain scoreless after their showing in the first period, and a lot of that was thanks to Henrik Lundqvist.
After only scoring one power play against the Montreal Canadiens, the Rangers needed to find a way to jump start their special teams early in this series. Thankfully, the Rangers were able to breakthrough on their third power play nearing the midpoint of the game.
The Rangers did an excellent job of generating quick puck move, before Ryan McDonagh rifled a wrist shot past Craig Anderson from the blue line. Chris Kreider did an excellent job of providing the screen in front, and the Rangers found themselves with the first lead of the night.
Unfortunately, that lead would only last until the end of the period where the Senators found the answering goal. The goal came on Ottawa’s power play as well, with Ryan Dzingel finishing off a rebound following a scramble off to the side of Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist was unable to reach over for the rebound, and Dzingel beat him just under the crossbar to make it a 1-1 game.
The Rangers obviously needed a response in the third period, and while they had their chances, it was Craig Anderson’s turn to steal the spotlight. He made two ridiculous saves in the third period, with one robbing Michael Grabner and another point blank glove save on Brendan Smith.
With under five minutes remaining in regulation, the Senators caught a fortunate bounce that wound up being the decider. Erik Karlsson’s shot from the right corner of the goal line hit Lundqvist in the shoulder, and fell into the net at the 15:49 mark. It was just a ridiculous bounce that fell in the Senators favor, and was considered the game winner.
As Joe mentioned on Twitter after the game, the good news here is that this probably the best the Rangers will see from the Senators in this series. On the flip side, the Rangers aren’t going to be as bad as they at points in this game, so there’s still a while to go in this series. The Rangers will have an opportunity on Saturday afternoon to swing this series back to Madison Square Garden all knotted up at 1-1.