In a game that seemed primed to mark the imminent end of the Ottawa Senators’ season, they made an emphatic statement to the New York Rangers that they were not done yet.
Despite falling behind 2-0 early, the Senators rallied to tie the game, before Kyle Turris scored the winner 2:42 into overtime, to send the series back to New York tied at two games apiece. Milan Michalek and Sergei Gonchar got the Sens back in it, and Craig Anderson was sensational once again, stopping 31 of 33 shots.
The Rangers continued the familiar theme of crushing Ottawa’s penalty kill right off the bat. Zack Smith took a penalty off the opening faceoff, and just 49 seconds in, Anton Stralman took advantage of a juicy rebound to beat Anderson and open the scoring.
The trend continued at the 6:10 mark, when Ranger captain Ryan Callahan followed up Stralman’s powerplay marker with one of his own.
Nice play by Marian Gaborik to get the puck to the net, and long before the halfway mark of the first, it’s 2-0 Blueshirts.
Despite the early deficit, the Senators were able to generate offence as long as they could stay out of the box. Their advantage in terms of puck moving defencemen allowed them to skate the puck over the Ranger line, and spread their defenders out to get some good chances, but Henrik Lundqvist was solid.
They would be almost be rewarded with a solid opportunity in a netfront scramble near the end of the frame. Jason Spezza appeared to have his first goal of the playoffs, but an early whistle and subsequent video review nixed his bid to get on the board.
Taking the multiple setbacks in stride, Ottawa began to answer in the second period. After killing off yet another penalty, Spezza completed a gorgeous stretch pass to Matt Carkner as he stepped out of the box. The big defender skated the puck across the line, cut back, and made a slick feed to Milan Michalek, whose backhander beat Lundqvist up high.
About 10 minutes later, the Sens got a powerplay of their own. On the man advantage, Spezza was moving in on Marc Staal, and the Ranger defenceman threw a brutal hit, driving his arms into Spezza’s head, and knocking Ottawa’s star playmaker to the ice. No call.
Keep in mind the Senators were called for seven penalties in total, tonight. Spezza would, thankfully, return.
However, as if motivated by the cheapshot, Ottawa returned fire off the next faceoff. Chris Neil made a slick pass from the corner, and Sergei Gonchar fired a slapshot that ping-ponged around in front of the goal, and squeaked across the line to tie the game.
Finally getting some pucks past Lundqvist, the Senators continued the offensive attack into the third period. Not to be deterred, though, the talented and experienced Ranger group kept up their own pressure. Craig Anderson had to be sharp, and was up to the task, including a larcenous save on Brad Richards.
Both teams traded opportunities from there. Lundqvist made some huge stops with thm game coming down to the wire, and we went to overtime with the tension seemingly at a breaking point.
With the Scotiabank Place crowd on their feet, the Senators weathered an early Rangers flurry with some big Anderson saves, and then broke down the ice. Jim O’Brien made a gorgeous drop pass to Kyle Turris, and he fired a bullet of a shot that beat Lundqvist high-glove, tied the series, and sent the 20000+ in attendance into a frenzy.
Absolutely gorgeous shot, and the Pesky Sens have done it again.
- As previously mentioned, the Senators took seven penalties tonight. Not all of them were deserved, but if this is the standard the officials are going with, then Ottawa needs to adjust. The Ranger powerplay is too good to keep giving them opportunities.
- Erik Karlsson is rounding nicely into a superstar player. His ability to outskate almost everyone is a treat to watch, and his offensive instincts are just marvellous. Karlsson is going to be a big part of any success Ottawa has.
- Chris Neil had another strong game. His lead-by-example attitude shines through on almost every shift and his assist on Gonchar’s marker was a thing of beauty. Ottawa’s bottom six has been really solid, and will need to continue to be.
- How about Craig Anderson? He’s only given up eight goals through four games, and has made key save after key save. Ottawa hasn’t been getting pummelled on the shot clock, but performances like these go a long way to winning a series.
- Tonight is Ottawa’s first home playoff win since Game 3 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, almost five full years ago./
Sens Hero: Kyle Turris (GWG)
Sens Zero: Zack Smith (4PIMs, 1 GVA)
Hardest Working Sen: Erik Karlsson (6SOG, 2 Hits, 1BS)
Up Next: Game 5 goes down on Saturday night at MSG!
You know the drill! Which game do we rewatch next week?
What game next week?
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