Just like winter, this game was coming.
Game Flow via Natural Stat Trick:
Highlights via NHL.com
While the Rangers took over the game in the second period, things didn't start all that poorly for the Senators. Ottawa came out with a lot of jump and the speed of both teams was on display with the terrific pace of the game. Mark Stone had a couple of really nice chances early but couldn't convert. The Sens actually looked quite good for the first half of the period. A Chris Kreider goal (yes, him) midway through the period gave the Rangers the early lead. However, Curtis Lazar answered immediately for the Sens to tie things up. Unfortunately a couple minutes later, Dan Boyle restored the New York lead. It was still a relatively decent period from the Senators and heading to the dressing room with the game 2-1 would have been fine, since Ottawa was getting chances but couldn't bury them. Unfortunately that's not what happened. Erik Karlsson made a backhand pass that was deflected and intercepted by the Rangers. Kreider wristed a shot, hitting Andrew Hammond squarely. Hammond couldn't handle the initial shot, lost sight of the puck, and it popped up behind him and into the net. It was a backbreaking goal and despite the giveaway, one the Hamburglar absolutely should have had.
An early goal to start the second would have helped, but it wasn't meant to be. The speed and pace Ottawa displayed in the first period was replaced with more and more turnovers. They managed just 4 shots in the entire period. Less than two minutes into the second period, Mats Zuccarello scored to make it 4-1. After a failed Ottawa power play attempt, Tanner Glass scored breaking out of the box, left uncovered after a Pageau-Wiercioch mix-up at centre ice. Hammond was pulled in favour of Chris Driedger and that was essentially the game. Rangers win 5-1. Shots 32-24 in favour of New York.
Honourable Mention: Curtis Lazar
Had some good chances in the game and scored one of his nicer goals in the NHL.
Dishonourable Mention: Andrew Hammond
Perhaps a bit harsh as he wasn't at fault for most of the Rangers goals, but he should have stopped New York's third goal. Allowing a goal in the final minute of the first and in the first two minutes of the second sealed the game for the Rangers. He had a 77.3 SV% on the night, which isn't good. He's definitely been overworked at this point and looked sluggish tonight leaving many to wonder if the knock he picked up on Monday night when Logan Couture bumped into him was impacting his play.
They were on the ice for the bulk of the action, which isn't good, not all of the blame falls on their shoulders, obviously, but they looked bad on a couple New York goals. Hopefully the pair just shake it off and move on to the next one.
Sens Zeroes: the Power Play
Wow. That was bad. It's not often Ottawa is on the positive side of a 7-1 penalty differential, but Ottawa could break through on any of those multiple power plays in the second and third periods, including a 5-on-3. Coach Dave Cameron was so frustrated with his top-2 PP units that he sent the Pageau line out there in the third period for some significant time with the man-advantage.
Sens Killer: Chris Kreider
Ugh, this guy. He's fast and strong and those qualities always seem to be tough for the Sens to handle. He had two goals and an assist (all in the first period) and basically finished off the Sens all on his own.