NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at NY Rangers
(Sunday, December 23rd)
Final Score: Ottawa 3, NY Rangers 1
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Chris Kelly scored the deciding goal as the Ottawa Senators got back on track to beat the slumping New York Rangers, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden.
Mike Fisher added a goal for Ottawa, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Prior to that, the Senators had won six in a row. Jason Spezza also scored to extend his points streak to seven games, and Martin Gerber stopped 34 shots in the win.
Scott Gomez scored the lone goal for New York, which has lost three straight and dropped eight of its last 10 games. Henrik Lundqvist turned away 22 shots in the loss.
"There's a standard right now in the league," Gomez said. "You have to play 60 minutes. You can't make one mistake against these guys. That's been the difference."
After the teams played to a 1-1 tie after one period, Kelly put Ottawa ahead a little more than 12 minutes into the second. Shean Donovan maneuvered the puck around the crease with crafty stick work, and tossed a backhanded shot on net. Lundqvist made the save, but the rebound bounced to his right.
Kelly was there to scoop up the rebound and loft it over the goaltender, for a 2-1 Senators lead at the 12:16 mark.
Fisher then scored a back-breaking goal almost midway through the third period. New York's Chris Drury tried to clear the puck around the left boards, but it was kept in, and Fisher fired a shot from the high right circle.
Lundqvist had an eye on it, but the puck deflected off the stick of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, and went into the net. It sealed the win for Ottawa, which became the first team in the Eastern Conference to have 50 points in the standings.
"We're happy. We've battled hard, we've had a good start to the year," Spezza said. "After our start last year (the Senators were 18-18-1 at the same point last season) we wanted to make sure we got off to a better start, so we didn't have to be scrambling so much toward the end."
The Rangers, who out-shot the Senators 35-25 for the game, couldn't put in one goal down the stretch. Jaromir Jagr, who now hasn't scored in 10 games, had one ring off the post.
Jagr did have an assist on Gomez's tally, which came just 3:42 into the game. Spezza then tied up the game with 3:44 left in the first period.
Spezza has seven goals and eight assists on his current points streak...The Rangers fell to 3-7-1 in the month of December...The teams were a combined 0- for-6 on the power play...New York forward Sean Avery returned to the lineup following wrist surgery, having not played since November 25.
12/23 23:14:45 ET