|NYR||0||1||0||0||1 (3 - 7)||2|
|OTT||0||1||0||0||0 (2 - 7)||1|
• PHOTO GALLERY
• RANGERS GAME CENTER
By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com
P.A. Parenteau scored in the seventh round of the shootout to lift the Rangers to an exciting 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place on Saturday afternoon.
“We asked him, ‘In the American League were you any good at this?” Rangers head coach John Tortorella recounted after the game. “And he says, ‘Yeah, I’m pretty good at it!’ So we gave him an opportunity, and good for him, I thought he played a pretty good game for his first game called up.”
Parenteau, who was recalled from Hartford on Friday, skated in from the left side, and snapped a hard forehand shot over the gloved hand of Sens goalie Brian Elliott for what proved to be the game-winning score.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Parenteau. “Coach gave me a chance to go out there and I scored a big goal there. So I am pretty happy, I’m not going to lie.”
Henrik Lundqvist, who was outstanding throughout the contest with 35 saves, sealed the win by forcing Milan Michalek to lift the puck over the net after Parenteau had scored. Lundqvist had been beaten earlier in the shootout by Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza, while Ales Kotalik and Vinny Prospal had both scored for the Rangers.
“We needed this one really bad,” said Lundqvist. “We talked after practice (on Friday) that we have to turn this around in Ottawa. We played a really good road game, I think.”
Tied 1-1, the Rangers certainly had their chances to move ahead in the third period. Handed three power plays during the final period, the Rangers could not convert, although Christopher Higgins came within inches of doing so when he rang a power play shot off the post with 3:11 remaining to play.
A few seconds after Higgins’ near-miss -- with the Senators scrambling and Elliott down on the ice -- Parenteau whistled a shot just over the top of the net.
“Higgy made a great play, and I got open for him, but the puck kind of bounced before I got to shoot it,” said Parenteau. “It went right over, and I was not happy about it. But I got a chance to redeem myself in the shootout. It’s a pretty good feeling right now.”
When the horn sounded after 60 minutes of play, and the score remained tied 1-1, both teams had earned at least one point in the standings, and the Rangers were headed to overtime for only the second time in 20 games this season. The Rangers had lost their only other overtime game, 5-4 in Montreal on Oct. 24.
In order to get to the shootout, the Rangers had to survive a late penalty kill in overtime after Kotalik was penalized for tripping with 1:23 left on the clock. The threesome of Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, and Marc Staal turned in a phenomenal effort in denying Ottawa the game-winning goal, with each blocking at least one shot, and Callahan blocking three.
Lundqvist made one save, right as the horn sounded, to ensure the shootout.
“It’s tough to get a 4-on-3 there at the end of the game, but the guys were unbelievable blocking big shots,” Lundqvist said. “We were ready to pay the price tonight. We did a lot of great things out there, especially on the PK.”
After an extremely evenly played, and scoreless, first period, the Rangers let the Senators seize control of the match during the second period due to a constant parade to the penalty box. However, thanks to the outstanding work of their penalty killers, the Rangers hit the second intermission tied 1-1.
Not only did the Rangers kill off four straight Ottawa power plays during an 18-minute span that bridged the end of the first period and deep into the middle stanza, but they were able to score a shorthanded goal of their own to pull even on the scoreboard at 10:58.
As has been the case so often during the first quarter of this season already, Marian Gaborik made the big play exactly when the Rangers needed it. In his own end, Gaborik chipped the puck off the right-wing boards past Ottawa defenseman Chris Campoli to create a 2-on-1 shorthanded break. Gaborik collected his own pass, slowed the play down, drew the one defenseman towards him, and slipped a centering pass to Prospal, who made no mistake in burying his fifth goal of the season past Elliott.
“I think it was a big goal for us to tie the game,” Gaborik said. “I knew (Prospal) was coming because that’s how we do it. When we have a chance, we go. I just tried to saucer it to him, and he buried it.”
Gaborik (13-12-25) is currently the second leading scorer in the National Hockey League, and has recorded at least one point in 16 of the 18 games in which he has played. Prospal (5-16-21) is also among the league leaders in scoring this year. The shorthanded goal was not only his first such goal this season, but it was the first shorthanded goal he has scored in 894 career games.
“I knew it was my first shorthanded goal,” said Prospal after the game. “I took the puck actually afterwards. It’s something I am going to remember for some time.”
At the time of Prospal’s goal, the Rangers were being outshot 9-2 in the period. All told, Ottawa fired 17 shots in the second period at Lundqvist, while the Rangers recorded only seven of their own. Much of that discrepancy was due to the fact that the Sens spent a large portion of the second period skating on the power play.
Ottawa started the middle stanza with the man advantage after Kotalik was penalized for hooking with 25 seconds to go in the first. Just 36 seconds into the second, Spezza muscled his way past Girardi on left wing, flipped a pass to himself near the net, and put a strong shot on goal. Although Lundqvist made the save, he looked behind him fearing that the puck was in the net.
It was a rough start to the second period for the visitors, but it was also a precursor for how the Senators would dominate much of the period. Lundqvist, though, was terrific in keeping his team in the game, allowing only a Brian Lee goal off a 4-on-3 odd-man rush at 4:29.
“Second period, I thought the first half of that period, Ottawa just simply outworked us,” said Tortorella. “We’re still struggling with our discipline as far as the penalties being called.”
Lundqvist made several big-time saves during the middle period, including two more on Spezza at the 15-minute mark, the second of which showcased Lundqvist’s strength in hugging the post.
Up front, Artem Anisimov and Parenteau joined the penalty-killing unit – in the absence of injured regulars Chris Drury and Brandon Dubinsky -- and both fit in seamlessly with the likes of Brian Boyle, Callahan, Higgins, Gaborik, and Prospal.
Parenteau, who was recalled from Hartford on Friday for his second tour of duty with the Rangers this season, played with a lot of jump. Used on the power play, penalty kill, and at even strength alongside Higgins and Kotalik, Parenteau made smart decisions with the puck and was creative in the offensive end while totaling more than 14 minutes of ice-time.
Sean Avery also played a key role for the Rangers in this hard-hitting game. Avery delivered some of the biggest hits of the contest, including one that set the tone on his first shift of the afternoon that flattened rookie Peter Regin. And not surprisingly, Avery was also on the receiving end of several big hits thrown by the Sens, including a thunderous third-period bomb delivered by Jarkko Ruutu.
“I thought it was one of Sean’s better games because he was very involved physically,” said Tortorella, who also used Avery on the second power play unit. “I thought he played much better tonight in the way he needs to play with that type of physical presence.”
After a pair of days off, the Rangers open up a three-game homestand on Tuesday night when they host the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.
|Brian Lee (2) ASST: Jarkko Ruutu (5), Chris Kelly (7)|
1 - 0 OTT
|SHG - Vinny Prospal (5) ASST: Marian Gaborik (12)|
1 - 1 Tie
|1||M. Gaborik||A. Kovalev||0 - 0|
|2||A. Kotalik||D. Alfredsson||1 - 1|
|3||V. Prospal||J. Spezza||2 - 2|
|4||E. Lisin||J. Ruutu||2 - 2|
|5||A. Anisimov||M. Fisher||2 - 2|
|6||C. Higgins||N. Foligno||2 - 2|
|7||P. Parenteau||M. Michalek||3 - 2|
|Mike Fisher Hi-sticking against Dan Girardi|
|Ales Kotalik Hooking against Peter Regin|
|Marc Staal Interference against Jason Spezza|
|Artem Anisimov Tripping against Jason Spezza|
|Sean Avery Roughing against Chris Phillips|
|Mike Fisher Hi-sticking against Michael Del Zotto|
|Matt Carkner Tripping against Artem Anisimov|
|Nick Foligno Too many men on the ice|
|Ales Kotalik Tripping against Milan Michalek|
|SA: 36||TOI: 65:00|
|Saves: 35||EV: 29 - 30|
|PIM: 0||PP: 6 - 6|
|SV%: .972||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 28||TOI: 65:00|
|Saves: 27||EV: 20 - 20|
|PIM: 0||PP: 6 - 6|
|SV%: .964||SH: 1 - 2|