Rangers Fail To Clinch Playoff Berth, Fall To Sens 3-2

Jim Cerny | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

With a chance to clinch a berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Saturday night, the Rangers returned home from a four-game road trip out west with a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. Despite the defeat New York's magic number to clinch a post-season berth is still one point, and the Blueshirts also remain four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Mats Zuccarello scored two goals in the loss for the Rangers, the third time this season he has scored a pair in the same game. Derick Brassard pick up an assist in his 400th NHL games, while Dominic Moore appeared in the 600th game of his NHL career.

Ottawa goaltender Robin Lehner turned in a big game outdueling his boyhood idol Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes. Lehner stopped 41 of 43x Ranger shots, and made several huge saves in the third period including ones on Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, and Marc Staal. Lundqvist finished the night with 31 saves.

Despite holding a 16-12 shots advantage through 20 minutes of play, the Rangers skated off the ice after the first period trailing Ottawa 2-0 on goals by Mark Stone and Mike Zibanejad, and due in large part to some sensation play by Lehner. However Zuccarello beat Lehner twice in the second period--sandwiching an Ottawa goal by Jason Spezza--and the Rangers trailed by just one after two periods of play.

Both of Zuccarello's goals came off deflections in front after the popular Norwegian had also won battles for the puck along the boards. His first goal came at 5:25 of the second period when he chased a loose puck into the left wing corner and quickly sent a pass back to the point. As Zuccarello skated to the low slot, John Moore cranked up a high slap which was first deflected by Benoit Pouliot and then tipped off Zuccarello's stick in front and past Lehner to cut the Blueshirts deficit to 2-1.

Three minutes later Spezza scored off a wild scramble in Lundqvist's crease and the Rangers again were chasing a pair of goals on the scoreboard; but Zuccarello scored at 11:55, this time deflecting Staal's slap shot into the cage for his 19th goal of the season. It was Zuccarello who whipped the puck around the boards from right wing to left, setting up an open Staal to hammer a shot towards the net, just as Zuccarello positioned himself again in front of Lehner.

The Senators netminder, who allowed seven goals to the Rangers in a 8-4 Blueshirt victory up in Ottawa on March 18th, bounced back and turned in a series of big-time saves on Saturday night. He denied both Nash and Marty St. Louis on separate partial breakaways, made back-to-back huge stops on a Carl Hagelin wraparound and subsequent rebound attempt from in-tight, and a gem robbing Pouliot from point-blank range just six minutes into the game.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
12:45OTT Mark Stone (3) ASST: Clarke MacArthur (31), Chris Phillips (14) 1 - 0 OTT
17:23OTT Mika Zibanejad (16) ASST: Zack Smith (9) 2 - 0 OTT
2nd Period
05:25NYR Mats Zuccarello (18) ASST: Benoit Pouliot (21), John Moore (11) 2 - 1 OTT
08:27OTT Jason Spezza (20) ASST: Erik Karlsson (51) 3 - 1 OTT
11:55NYR Mats Zuccarello (19) ASST: Marc Staal (11), Derick Brassard (26) 3 - 2 OTT
3rd Period
Three Stars of the Game
Mats Zuccarello
Mats Zuccarello
G: 2Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 4
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: -1TOI: 15:10
Robin Lehner
Robin Lehner
SA: 43TOI: 60:00
GA: 2EV: 38-40
PIM: 0PP: 2-2
SV%: .953SH: 1-1
Erik Karlsson
Erik Karlsson
G: 0Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 27:18
Penalty Summary
1st Period
13:12OTT Eric Gryba  Cross checking against  Rick Nash
2nd Period
3rd Period
11:17OTT Eric Gryba  Slashing against  Derick Brassard
17:13OTT Chris Neil  Roughing against  Marc Staal
17:13NYR Marc Staal  Roughing against  Chris Neil
17:13NYR Marc Staal  Roughing against  Chris Neil
17:13OTT Zack Smith  Roughing against  Mats Zuccarello
17:13NYR Mats Zuccarello  Roughing against  Zack Smith
17:13NYR Derick Brassard  Misconduct (10 min) against  Eric Gryba
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/10/2
Faceoff Wins2734
Blocked Shots2113
Penalty Minutes816
3M. MethotD0023026:11
4C. PhillipsD01-10018:53
5C. CeciD00-11016:16
7K. TurrisC0004015:42
9M. MichalekL0012018:45
15Z. SmithC0102215:55
16C. MacArthurL0100015:19
19J. SpezzaC1012017:07
22E. CondraR0001014:20
25C. NeilR0002211:54
44J. PageauC0001011:15
46P. WierciochD0001017:40
61M. StoneR1002014:31
62E. GrybaD0002413:55
65E. KarlssonD0124027:18
68M. HoffmanL0002010:07
83A. HemskyR0012016:09
93M. ZibanejadC1003014:43
40R. Lehner4143.95360:00
4R. DiazD0002013:08
5D. GirardiD00-10026:11
6A. StralmanD0010019:05
8K. KleinD00-21013:50
13D. CarcilloL000008:47
15D. DorsettR000209:15
16D. BrassardC01011014:58
17J. MooreD0114021:33
18M. StaalD01-14423:06
19B. RichardsC00-12018:47
21D. StepanC0002018:41
22B. BoyleC0003015:59
26M. St. LouisR0003019:17
28D. MooreC0001010:59
36M. ZuccarelloR20-13215:10
61R. NashL0007018:13
62C. HagelinL0006016:43
67B. PouliotL01-12014:18
30H. Lundqvist3134.91260:00