There was certainly a message the Ottawa Senators wanted to send and it was clear they didn’t want to waste any time with it when Neil, Carkner, and Konopka were sent out to start the game. New York countered with Rupp, Dubinsky and Boyle. Many were expecting fights right off the face-off like those that happened between the Rangers and Devils but the anticipation quickly sunk when Konopka went straight to the bench after winning the face off. What everyone was waiting for came not long after however. Away from the play, Carkner pounced on Boyle and began throwing punches even though Boyle was refusing to fight. He was clearly the targeted man after his punches on Karlsson last game. Carkner was thrown out of the game, as was Dubinsky who was deemed “third man in” which worked out to be a good trade-off for the Sens.
Message sent. Unfortunately Sens were left with Carkner’s five minute major to kill off. Ottawa stepped up to the task. They had the motivation to kill it knowing Carkner did what he did to defend Ottawa’s star player. And they did just that, an excellent kill clearing it often and holding New York to a single shot on their five minute power play. From there, the momentum was in Sens favour and they needed to use it to get their offense started, but instead they headed back to the pk. This time was less successful and Stralman got a wrister past Anderson, one the net minder probably should’ve had. The Sens were certainly the better team, playing a much better, more intense game than they did Thursday but they trailed 1-0 again after one.
Sens came out strong again in the second, and earned a five minute power play of their own. It was rookie Hagelin who targeted the head of Daniel Alfredsson knocking him down. Ottawa would not pass up this opportunity, and though it was a bit of a fluke, the Sens tied the game. Erik Karlsson was credited with the goal as the puck he fired towards the crease bounced off a Ranger defense and past Lundqvist. Unfortunately it came at the cost of Alfie who left the game and did not return.
Rangers quickly regained their lead in third. It was of course Brian Boyle, the most hated Ranger by the Sens right now, who scored the goal. But anyone who watched the Senators this season knows how resilient they can be. It wasn’t pretty but they got the job done. They always say “Get pucks on net and good things happen,” which proved true on all Senators goals tonight. Nick Foligno occupied his usual spot in front of the opposing net and it payed off. Karlsson led the play skating into the zone, and the Sens forwards kept control and got it on net creating a rebound for Foligno to smack home.
This game was headed to overtime.
Ottawa quickly put the pressure on and controlled the puck in the Rangers end. With lots of traffic in front Cowen fire a puck on net that was blocked but created a mess for Lundqvist. Sens were first to the lose puck and it was Chris Neil firing in the game winner.
The team came together well tonight led by Erik Karlsson who had a much better game as needed, and had 10 of the Senators 32 shots. The overall intensity was much better than Game 1 and they kept control of their game. They had help from some unsuspecting heros. Carkner, Konopka and Neil all played big parts in the win. Other than perhaps taking too many penalties, Ottawa had a great game, outplaying the Rangers most of the time.
Sens leave New York tied 1-1 in the series. They now head home to an anxious crowd who will get to see the team live the first time these playoffs on Monday. Game 3 is Monday at 7:30 at Scotiabank Place.