NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at NY Rangers
(Thursday, January 11th)
Final Score: Ottawa 6, NY Rangers 4
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Patrick Eaves scored twice and Daniel Alfredsson netted the game-winner, as the Ottawa Senators withstood a furious Rangers' third period rally to defeat New York, 6-4, at Madison Square Garden.
Dany Heatley scored once and dished out two assists as did Alfredsson, Wade Redden had a pair of helpers, and Antoine Vermette picked up a goal and an assist for the Senators, winners in four of their last five games.
Chris Kelly also tallied a goal and one assist, while Ray Emery stopped 38 shots on the night, including a perfect 28-of-28 through the first periods.
Jason Ward picked up a goal and an assist for the Rangers, who have lost two straight following a four-game win streak. Petr Prucha, Marcel Hossa and Blair Betts registered the other goals, and Henrik Lundqvist was saddled with the loss after giving up the game-winning tally on five shots.
Starting netminder Kevin Weekes was shelled, surrendering four goals on 27 shots before Lundqvist relieved him.
Facing their second straight home loss and in danger of being blown out of their building by a struggling but explosive Ottawa club, the Rangers fought back from a 5-0 deficit early in the third with four unanswered goals.
Prucha broke the shutout for New York at 3:29, getting credit for a goal off Jaromir Jagr's shot which hit him in the shoulder and bounced past Emery. Ward banged one in from the edge of the crease only 45 seconds later, and the Rangers finally showed some life down 5-2.
Hossa cut the deficit to 5-3 at 6:10 off a dish from Brendan Shanahan, and the game took on a nastier edge. Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg leveled the Sens' Chris Neil with a hit near both benches, causing Neil to leave the game, and the Blueshirts took advantage of the extra skating room.
Betts showed some rare skill when he tipped home Jed Ortmeyer's left point shot at 10:39, making it a 5-4 game, and both sides braced for a dramatic ending.
Lundqvist left the net for an extra attacker with 1:12 to go, and the Rangers pressed in the Ottawa zone buzzing around Emery with purpose, but were unable to put a quality chance on goal.
Heatley finally ended the surge with 33.7 seconds left on an empty-netter, and Ottawa walked away with a hair-raising two-goal win.
"We talked about it, about not letting ourselves relax, but I think we did, and it may be a little bit of human nature when we got the fifth," said Heatley. "Maybe we laid back a little bit and they took advantage of it. We got out of here with the two."
Eaves gave the Senators a 1-0 lead midway through the first on a right circle wrister that zipped over Weekes' shoulder and under the crossbar.
Ottawa netted two more in the first 2:06 of the second period, from Kelly and Vermette, to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
Eaves followed with his second of the night, slipping a backhander into the net while shielding Rangers defenseman Fedor Tyutin with his body at 12:30, and Weekes gave way to Lundqvist.
Alfredsson tallied just over a minute into the third, his blazing wrist shot off a Heatley feed nicking the crossbar and rippling the net for a 5-0 advantage. It was the first shot Lundqvist faced since he replaced Weekes, and would be the only dent in the young Swede's armor as the Blueshirts made a game of it thereafter.
"You know, the score was embarrassing," Shanahan said. "I don't know that we were playing our best but we weren't out of the game. It seemed at that point we came down and had a couple real good scoring chances. We weren't good in our end - defense was zone coverage and sloppy. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be good here, we love playing at home and winning at home. If there is a lesson to be learned in tonight's game is not to panic early."
Ottawa has won eight of the last ten meetings, including two of three this season...The Senators lead the all-time series 26-24-3...Six of Eaves' eight goals this season have come in the first period...Weekes has surrendered 17 goals against in his last four games...The four-goal third was New York's first such period since scoring four times on October 28th against Phoenix...The Rangers' 42 shots is one off their season-high...The Senators welcome Montreal for a Saturday matinee, while the Rangers host Boston also on Saturday.
01/11 23:06:49 ET