Unlike what most expected this was a very close game, almost reminiscent to the playoff match up we seen last year. (Note: Minus some star players) This was a game in which Jakob Silfverberg showed just what he could do, as he probably played what in my opinion was his best game as a Senators. He was a force almost all game leading the Sens with 8 shots. I also thought Mika Zibanejad had a nice game today, he was skating hard for much of the game and garnered some attention from some Rangers players.
The game started off by each team feeling each other out, no one wanted to make a mistake. The only thing that was created in the beginning of the game was a clean break by Mika Zibanejad which was stopped by Henrik Lundqvist. The scoring began when Eric Gryba took a tripping penalty on Chris Kreider, Dan Girardi tried to hold Jakob Silfverberg on the boards in the corner but that didn’t work out for him as Silfverberg out skated him as Girardi fell to the ice. Number 33 made him pay as he waited out King Henrik and backhanded it into the net for his first career short handed goal, assisted by Daniel Alfredsson.
Nothing much happened in the second period really even period by both teams and the Rangers edged the Senators 9-8 in shots. To finish off the period and carry over into the 3rd period the New York Rangers were given a power play as Christ Neil received a boarding penalty.
The Sens managed to kill off the Neil penalty when the 3rd period began. And then as if the Sens haven’t suffered enough it was Craig Anderson that went down as Marc Methot tripped up Chris Kreider who then slid hard into Anderson(See Jared’s article). As some more even play by both teams kept up, it was Sergei Gonchar that took a penalty on Taylor Pyatt that began the Rangers comeback. It didn’t take long for New York to capitalize on the power play opportunity as the Rangers captain Ryan Callahan tied it up from a bounce off the back boards right to his stick. The goal was assisted by Marc Staal and Derek Stepan. No more than 51 seconds later Ryan McDonaugh scored on a weak shot assisted by J.T Miller and Jeff Halpern. After the Sens looked down after giving up two quick goals Mika Zibanejad made them pay in more ways then one, by drawing a penalty on Brian Boyle and then scoring on Lundqvist. The goal was assisted by Colin Greening and Patrick Wiercioch.
This game was taken into overtime in which chances were created by both teams and the Rangers actually ringing one off the post near the end of the extra frame. This game needed a shootout and it was a long one. After a goal (once again) by Silfverberg, captain Callahan equaled him and tied the skills contest at 1. After what I have to say was a string of add selections by the coach it was Kaspars Daugavins that broke in and tried a move that failed but it was enough to fool the Rangers goaltender and squeezed between his pads for the edge in the shootout. Chris Kreider came in and rung it off the post for the Sens win!
- After it looked like the Vezina candidate, Craig Anderson, might have injured his knee. It was later reported that it was in fact an ankle strain in which he sustained in the 3rd period. After looking like it might be a seriously injury, just by the fact that he needed help off the ice Anderson himself later tweeted that he is happy with the Sens win and that his ankle is fine and will be back ASAP. Which is beyond great news considering the amount of injuries Ottawa has had to deal with.
- For the exception of that weak 2nd goal that he allowed I thought Ben Bishop played fairly well considering the circumstances in which he was brought into the game. I thought he started to look comfortable later into the 3rd and was fairly sharp in the shoot out stopping 6 of 7 attempts.
- There were a couple players that stood out tonight. I thought Jakob Silfverberg, Eric Gryba and Mika Zibanejad all played one of their best games this season. Silfverberg and Zibanejad creating chances all game and both skating quite well. Gryba’s presence was different, he was a force all night keeping Rangers players in check all game. Also thought Phillips and Methot had strong games logging approximately 25 minutes each.
- New York had 34 SOG tonight 21 against Anderson in which he stopped all of them along with 13 against Bishop in which he stopped 11 on his way to the shootout victory, he is now 2-2-0.
SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME