It has been a rough road stretch and a wake-up call for the New York Rangers (42-17-7), as the first place Blueshirts dropped their second game as the visiting team, another 4-1 decision. This time the home team is the Ottawa Senators (36-25-8) as New York has now fell to back-to-back potential playoff teams.
Not helping the Rangers cause is the fact that there will be no rest, as they will have to rebound quickly for a Friday night game in Chicago, but before getting to that the Blueshirts had to try to get through the Senators first.
These teams will only meet four times this season, and thus far the Senators have taken all three series. On this night, they were led on by the play of keeper Ben Bishop, who is in his second game with the team. Bishop made 25 saves, while offensive leaders Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza helped to lead the offensive play.
Blueshirts captain Ryan Callahan (26) gave his team an early lead on a wicked wrist shot at the 4:36 mark in the first period. Ottawa countered with goals by Zack Smith (14) and Nick Foligno (14) for the 2-1 edge at the end of the frame.
The Senators scored twice more, to make the night for Blueshirts cager Martin Biron a rough one, though the cager ended the night with 18 saves.
Brad Richards was one of the offensive leaders on the ice for New York, finishing the game with 13 face-of wins and four shots. Brandon Prust continues his fine physical play, recording five hits while also sparking the team with a fight in the third period.
New York will conclude the road trip with another tough test on Friday. The Blueshirts will take on the Blackhawks in a NHL-Network televised contest, with face-off scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
Written on March 8, 2012
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