NHL Playoffs: Senators beat Rangers to advance to 1st East final since 2007

NHL Playoffs: Senators beat Rangers to advance to 1st East final since 2007

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- Erik Karlsson and the Ottawa Senators showed off their toughness in the third period. The New York Rangers pushed and pushed, but the resilient Senators held on -- all the way to their first Eastern Conference final in 10 years.

Karlsson had a goal and an assist, Craig Anderson made 37 saves and the Senators eliminated the Rangers with a 4-2 victory in Game 6 of their second-round series Tuesday night.

"We knew they were going to come back with a real good push," Senators forward Kyle Turris said. "We knew it was going to be probably the hardest period of the playoffs for us so far. It was and we just tried to weather the storm."

Trailing 3-1 after two periods, New York pulled within one on Chris Kreider's goal 53 seconds into the third. The Rangers outshot the Senators 15-5 in the final period, but couldn't find the equalizer.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau clinched the series for Ottawa with an empty-netter with 6.2 seconds left for his seventh goal of the postseason.

"They had chances and a lot of them," forward Mark Stone said. "That was the time when we needed our goaltender to be big."

Stone and Mike Hoffman scored in the first period for Ottawa, and Clarke MacArthur finished with two assists.

The Senators, headed to the conference finals for the first time since their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007, will face Pittsburgh or Washington in the next round. Their series is headed to Game 7 on Wednesday night.

Mika Zibanejad also scored for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist had 22 saves.

"We had a lot of chances that I think we let slip through our fingers," Rangers center Derek Stepan said, "but it's a good team over there. Don't sell them short. They battled real hard, they played real strong games, and they had that magic. Sometimes you've got to have a little bit of that."

Kreider had a chance to tie it a little over 5 minutes into the third, but didn't get a clean shot on a pass from Zibanejad. His attempt from in front trickled off his stick and was stopped by Anderson.

Lundqvist made some stellar saves late in the third, including a stop on Derick Brassard from the right side with 5 minutes left.

"Right now all you feel is disappointment and it's a numb feeling," Lundqvist said. "It's not a great feeling. You realize how much work and how many hours you put into this to put yourself in this spot to get this chance."

Zibanejad got the Rangers on the scoreboard with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the second. He took a pass from Mats Zuccarello, skated in and beat Anderson on the glove side into the top right corner.

Karlsson then beat Lundqvist on the blocker side with 4:07 remaining to restore the Senators' two-goal lead.

The Rangers outshot the Senators 13-10 in the first, but trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes. New York had three power plays and more scoring chances, but Ottawa was aggressive on defense while blocking nine shots in the opening period, and whatever got past the defense was stopped by Anderson.

"It elevates your game knowing that these guys are battling and they are paying the price," Anderson said of his teammates blocking shots. "Everyone works a little harder for each other when guys do that type of play."

Hoffman put Ottawa in front 4:27 into the game. He got the puck behind the net and sent a pass out to MacArthur. He then went in front of the net and deflected a shot from Karlsson past Lundqvist for his fourth of the playoffs.

It came on the Senators' second shot on goal of the game and marked the first time Ottawa scored first in the series.

Stone scored with 5:16 left in the first when he got a pass from MacArthur on the left side as he crossed the blue line, skated up and fired a shot past Lundqvist for his fourth of postseason. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault challenged the play for offside, but the goal stood after a review.

Notes
The NHL announced the Rangers will face the Buffalo Sabres in the Winter Classic at Citi Field, home of baseball's New York Mets. Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement on television during the first intermission. ... The Senators were 0 for 2 on the power play, finishing the series 1 for 18 and falling to 6 for 41 in the postseason. ... The Rangers were 0 for 4 with the man advantage. They finished 2 for 24 in the series and 3 for 39 in the playoffs.

NHL Playoffs: Rangers top Senators, 4-1, knot series at 2-2

NHL Playoffs: Rangers top Senators, 4-1, knot series at 2-2

NEW YORK -- While New York stars Rick Nash and Chris Kreider receive playoff-level attention from Ottawa, Oscar Lindberg and Tanner Glass are providing an unexpected lift for the Rangers.

Lindberg scored two goals, Glass had two assists and the Rangers beat the Senators 4-1 on Thursday night to tie their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.

"I think our line has been doing a really good job, getting pucks back from the forecheck," Lindberg said. "We had two good chances today and we were able to bear down."

Kreider and Nick Holden also scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist had 22 saves.

Kyle Turris scored for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson made 17 saves before being replaced by Mike Condon for the third period. Condon finished with nine stops.

"They are a good hockey team. They came out and played their game to a T," Anderson said. "Had their fans and the momentum. We weren't able to get anything going."

Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson also left the game after the second period with an injury. Karlsson played during the first round with two microfractures in one of his feet from blocking a shot late in the regular season.

Coach Guy Boucher said he expects both Anderson and Karlsson to play in Game 5 on Saturday at Ottawa.

"We felt it was better for him to keep him off the ice in the (third) period," Boucher said of Karlsson. "He could've come back, but we just wanted to make sure. He has a lower-body injury."

Lindberg also scored the Rangers' final goal in their Game 3 win, with Glass picking up an assist. Glass, a forward who was scratched in the first two games of the series, has brought an edge to the team.

"Look at these assists," Glass said. "They are not exactly playmaking assists. They are just kind of the gritty, grinding game I bring. Sometimes it ends up in the back of the net."

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has appreciated the balanced scoring.

"Definitely tonight Oscar's line came up big for us with a couple of big plays," Vigneault said. "Tanner is just playing disciplined, smart hockey and that's what he needs to do."

The game got physical in the third period as the teams combined for 78 penalty minutes, with the majority of that coming in the final minute.

Lundqvist has stopped 48 of his past 50 shots after allowing six goals in the Senators' double-overtime win in Game 2. The Rangers have won four consecutive home games this postseason.

"I think it's the last couple of games," Lundqvist said. "It's not a one-man show here. It's about four lines doing everything right and that's what you need this time of the year."

Lindberg scored both of the Rangers' second-period goals. Glass blocked Ben Harpur's shot and Michael Grabner grabbed the loose puck and broke in with Lindberg, who scored on a one-timer at 2:01.

Glass also helped set up Lindberg's next goal. He outworked Senators defenseman Cody Ceci for the puck behind the Ottawa net and sent it to the boards. J.T. Miller grabbed the loose puck and passed to Lindberg at the point for a 3-0 lead at 15:54.

Kreider made it 4-0 with a power-play goal at 10:45 of the third.

Turris scored at 13:34, but the Senators had trouble generating sustained pressure against Lundqvist and were sloppy with the puck at times.

"We've got to hit the net," Boucher said. "Whenever we got chances, we didn't capitalize."

For the second consecutive game, the Rangers controlled the first period. In Game 3, they scored the first two goals and outshot Ottawa 15-5. On Thursday, they outshot the Senators 11-7 and opened the scoring again.

Holden led a breakout from the defensive zone and sent a pass to Kevin Hayes at center ice. Hayes passed back to Holden along the left wing and he broke in toward the net and beat Anderson with a wrist shot that went over his right pad at 14:04.

The Rangers have scored the first goal in each game of the series.

"They played well at home for their two games and we played at home for our two games and we've got a series," Boucher said.

Notes
Through four games, the Rangers have led for 149:56, have been tied for 108:47 and have trailed for 4:11. ... Lundqvist earned his 61st playoff win to tie Tom Barrasso for 13th on the NHL's career list. ... Senators Fs Bobby Ryan and Zack Smith returned to the lineup after leaving Game 3 with injuries. D Chris Wideman and F Tom Pyatt both made their debuts in the series. D Fredrik Claesson and F Tommy Wingels were scratched. ... Rangers F Pavel Buchnevich was scratched for the second consecutive game and replaced by Glass.

NHL Playoffs: Rangers dominate Senators to cut series deficit to 2-1

NHL Playoffs: Rangers dominate Senators to cut series deficit to 2-1

NEW YORK -- Mats Zuccarello got the New York Rangers off to a fast start and they cruised to a crucial win against the Ottawa Senators.

Zuccarello had a goal and an assist in the first period and the Rangers went on to a 4-1 victory Tuesday night that cut the Senators' lead to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinal series. Michael Grabner, Rick Nash and Oscar Lindberg also scored, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots.

Looking to avoid falling into a 0-3 series hole and with the home crowd buzzing from the singing of the national anthems, the Rangers came out aggressive from the start. They outshot the Senators 15-5 in the first period while building a 2-0 lead.

"We played a solid first period and we came out strong," Zuccarello said. "I think that we set the tone right away."

The Rangers have won three straight playoff games at Madison Square Garden after losing six straight on home ice, including Game 3 of the first round against Montreal.

"There's no doubt we played a strong game," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "We were able to score a couple, get early pace and we were able to bring it home and win the game," (see full recap).

Blues' comeback falls short as Preds take 3-1 series lead
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis gave goalie Pekka Rinne a hand in the crease with a key save inside the final minute of the second period, then he broke open a scoreless game with a power-play goal.

The St. Louis Blues just don't agree with how Nashville got the man advantage that led to Ellis' goal.

James Neal made sure it didn't matter, scoring the game-winning goal with 6:57 left, as the Predators beat the Blues 2-1 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.

"That was by far the hardest game of the series," Ellis said. "I thought they played well at both ends of the ice. I thought we played well too. It was deadlocked at zeroes for most of the game and we just got a couple of bounces."

Rinne outdueled St. Louis' Jake Allen with 32 saves, and the Predators are a victory from reaching the Western Conference final for the first time in franchise history.

"Obviously that's something that would be amazing for this organization too," Rinne said. "Now we have a chance to really step on their throats, and we can control our destiny. You couldn't ask for more," (see full recap).