The Ottawa Senators looked to put away the New York Rangers at home tonight in Game 6. Daniel Alfredsson would make his triumphant return back into the lineup. As well, SEL MVP Jakob Silfverberg would also make his first ever NHL appearance, much like Stone did in Game 5. Craig Anderson and Henrik Lundqvist would once again start between the pipes.
The First Period
Ottawa came out strong with the home crowd behind them. It would pay off early, as on the powerplay Chris Neil would deflect a Sergei Gonchar slapshot past Lundqvist at 7:05 to give the Sens the 1-0 lead. They would hold onto this lead until the end of the period, with the home crowd fully engaged in the game.
The Second Period
The tires would fall off for Ottawa in the 2nd. The Sens just came out flat and unable to keep up with a much more desperate Rangers team. On the powerplay at 8:55 the Rangers’ persistence would pay off with Derek Stepan tipping one past Anderson to tie the game. Late in the period with Filip Kuba already off for hooking, Nick Foligno would get called on a very questionable goaltender interference where he was wedged in between two New York players and pushed into Lundqvist. Nevertheless, that would lead to a 5 on 3 for the Rangers and they would capitalize. At 17:08, Brad Richards would slap one past Anderson to give New York the 2-1 lead. This gave the Rangers full momentum against a shellshocked Senators team. On some weak defence by Ottawa, Chris Kreider would be left all alone in front to one time a pass from Stepan past Anderson with under a minute left to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead to end the period. The hometown crowd would let the refs hear it after seeing their team collapse after the Foligno penalty.
The Third Period
Ottawa would start off slow in the third and Paul MacLean would make his displeasure in his stars felt. On an early powerplay he kept his top line of Michalek, Spezza, and Alfredsson all glued to the bench. Instead he went with a line made up of Smith, Konopka, and Silfverberg. It wouldn’t pay off as the Sens would mount minimal pressure on the powerplay. With time ticking down, Ottawa would begin to get numerous goal mouth scrambles, but were unable to get the stick on the puck. They would finally solve Lundqvist late at 19:21 on a Jason Spezza wrist shot. However, it was a long reviewed goal with Neil clearly attempting to kick it in but ending up missing the puck. There was also the issue of potential goaltender interference from the Rangers point of view. Nevertheless, the goal would stand. That’s as close as Ottawa would get though, with them unable to put one away in the dying seconds. 3-2 Rangers the final.
+ Pluses +
+ Quick Start: The Sens finally got another quick start with a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, that’s about all they did right tonight.
- Minuses -
– Penalty Kill: Allowed two powerplay goals in the second which essentially put the nail in the coffin.
– Craig Anderson: Not a bad game, but allowed 3 goals on 8 shots in the 2nd. That can’t happen, especially against the Rangers if Sens are to have any chance at winning games.
– Stars Silent: Ottawa’s stars failed to muster many chances tonight, and it showed with Alfredsson losing it on the bench in a rare show of emotion for the captain (http://video.thescore.com/watch/alfie-temper-tantrum).
Will Post When Available
*** Senshot’s Three Stars ***
* Derek Stepan: 1G 2A – With the game tying goal and a 3 point night he was easily the best player on the ice for both teams.
** Henrik Lundqvist: 25/27 – Gave Ottawa nothing easy as usual.
*** Brad Richards: 1G 1A – Has woken up and is being the star player he should be for the Rangers.
The Sens started off great, but got worse as the game went on. I personally though the call on Nick Foligno for goaltender interference was terrible and likely changed the course of the game with the Rangers scoring on the 5 on 3. Nevertheless, Ottawa put up a miserable effort in the second period regardless of that call. Daniel Alfredsson didn’t particularly have a strong game either in my opinion, but it’s hard to come back from a concussion and make an immediate impact, especially in such a hard fought game. Will we see Matt Gilroy next game? Matt Carkner only played 6:30 tonight, and barely touched the ice in the third. Jakob Silfverberg definitely looked a bit out of place, not surprising considering he doesn’t know the Sens system at all either. A tough situation to put a rookie used to the international sized ice, and playing in the SEL the past year. I think you have to bring Bobby Butler back into the lineup for Game 7. He’s put up a strong effort in all the games he’s played in, but just hasn’t put up the numbers yet. He has shown he can score in playoff scenarios as well, being an important keg in the B-Sens Calder Cup Run. Game 7 is this Thursday in New York. Until next time, Go Sens Go!
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