Rangers regroup after tough loss, confident for Game 3

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Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist to lead NY to a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, cutting the Rangers’ deficit to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators meet Saturday in game five of the second round National Hockey League playoffs at the Canadian Tire Centre. But it’s 2-2 now. “Game 3 was good, but Game 3 is gone and past now”. Of paramount concern for Ottawa is that it did not handle the Rangers’ strong surge in the first period, negating any possible carryover of momentum from Saturday’s wild 6-5 double-overtime victory in which the Senators erased three two-goal deficits, including one in the final minutes of regulation.

Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan, who left in the third period with a lower-body injury, is expected to play.

Rugged winger Tanner Glass picked up a pair of assists, led all skaters with seven hits and fought Ottawa’s Kyle Turris in the final minute of play. They’re a team, not just with experience, but they’re a team that has so many tools and we know they’re largely favourites.

Nicklas Backstrom tied the score early in the third as the Capitals finally solved Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who allowed four goals on 32 shots. It’s a best of three now, and the Ottawa Senators still have home ice advantage.

“We do have to do a better job of creating some more around their net”, the defenceman said Friday before the team headed home to Ottawa for Saturday afternoon’s game. “I just thought, this is awesome, we just tied the game and you’re just trying to make a difference as a player”. “Every game is tough and you’re not going to get anything for free”, NY netminder Henrik Lundqvist told reporters. Things got chippy in Game 4 as the Rangers held a commanding lead late in the third period. Allen finished with 23 saves as the Blues lost consecutive road games for the first time since February 28 and March 3. The Sens had seven fewer regulation or overtime wins than NY during the regular season and four fewer points, but get home-ice advantage by finishing second in the Atlantic division – as opposed to NY, which landed the first wild-card spot after finishing behind Washington, Pittsburgh and Columbus. Karlsson exited game four at the end of the second and did not return for the third period.

Michael Grabner set up Lindberg’s first 2:01 into the second period. Thirteen minutes 53 seconds later, Lindberg hammered a heavy shot from the left side which ricocheted in and out of the net as Glass screened Anderson. “He hangs on to the puck, he is crafty when he gets it, and he can shoot it really well”.

The Senators tied at 8:17 of the second on two fine feeds from Karlsson and MacArthur, the latter a fake shot sent cross-ice to Hoffman who buried the shot past Lundqvist.

Sens coach Guy Boucher decided to make a statement to his team, though, by inserting Mike Condon in goal for the third period.

“We have to play to a much higher level”, said Ottawa defenceman Dion Phaneuf.

All three regular-season meetings between the teams were decided by two goals or fewer, and Ottawa won each of the first two games of this series by one goal.

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Even though the Rangers skated to a second consecutive victory, coach Alain Vigneault kept the series in perspective. They need to win more puck battles so they can generate more offensive zone time.

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and center Derek Stepan react after the Ottawa Senators scored to tie the game late in the third period in Game 5 in the second-round of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs in Ottawa on Saturday

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