The New York Rangers (8-3-3) held a block party in Ottawa in their 3-2 victory over the Senators (7-8-1) on Wednesday night. New York blocked a total of 22 shots to earn a vital two points on the road, in what was a battle of speed versus defense.
Thought the two teams were held scoreless in the first period of play, that didn’t mean there wasn’t a boatload of action, as the Senators were able to put on an impressive display of speed to open up the game.
New York, however, were able to force nine turnovers in the opening period, but just were not able to cash in. These two teams hit each other, as the physical play came to a boiling point at the 2:50 mark when Sean Avery dropped gloves and exchanged blows with Zenon Konopka.
In the second period, the speed of Senators was the key forcing a four-on-two opportunity against the Blueshirts for the first goal. Milan Michalek connected on that opening goal on a 40 foot wrister, as Ottawa cashed in on their fourth odd-man rush opportunity.
New York responded quickly when the line of Artem Anisimov, Marian Gaborik, and Derek Stephan continued to build on their great chemistry at the 9:21 mark. This was when defense was the key for the Blueshirts, as a turnover lead to the first Rangers goal.
A beautiful one-timer from Stephan to Gaborik led to a 22 foot wrister, which tied the game up for the Blueshirts. New York took the lead at the 11:38 mark when Stephan connected on a backhanded shot, which now gives the forward eight points in his last six games.
The second period was chocked full of action, as a scrum, along with the second fight of the game between blueliner Andre Deveaux and Jared Cowen at the 13:16 mark. New York almost had a penalty free game, until the 14:35 mark-when the Senators went on their first power play opportunity of the game.
Ottawa could not cash in though, as an interference call at the 15:00 mark allowed for four-on-four hockey action for 1:30. The Blueshirts had a power play for 0:23 seconds, but didn’t need it, as the Rangers were able to find enough offense minus the extra man.
Throughout the night head coach John Tortorella was seen mixing his lines, in what was a great way to keep the energy up on his bench. In the third period, the Blueshirts top line combined for the 3-1 lead at the 8:30 mark.
That was when Gabby cashed in on a two-on-one stutter-step move, giving the forward five goals in the last six games. Ottawa regained their speed to cut the New York lead at the 9:48 mark, when Nick Foligno connected on a 21 foot wrister.
Henrik Lundqvist (29 saves) and the rest of the defense held the Senators for the rest of the third period, to give the New York Rangers a five game winning streak. The Blueshirts now have been able to record points in six consecutive games.
Anisimov also shined in the game, as the forward now has two assists in the last three games. Artem also played a very aggressive game on defense, forcing the Senators to make a ton of mistakes with the pucks in their own zone.
The Rangers will now return back to home ice to take on the Carolina Hurricanes for Veterans Day on Friday. With the game scheduled to air on the MSG network, the face-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Written on November 10, 2011