Ken Warren’s Game File: Bickel stones O’Brien, Senators outhit the Rangers and more

Why They Lost: The Senators carried the play for much of the game, outshooting the Rangers 39-23, but could not find the one bounce they needed to get the puck past Henrik Lundqvist. The big break went to Brian Boyle, who scored the lone goal with 12:25 left in third period.

Ken Warren’s Game File: Bickel stones O’Brien, Senators outhit the Rangers and more

Stud

Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers

The King was a Wall, stopping all 39 shots, as the Senators pushed, pushed and pushed some more around the Rangers net. He saved his best for last, making a pad stop off Kyle Turris with 56 seconds remaining and Senators goaltender Craig Anderson on the bench for an extra skater.

Dud

Senators power play

Hard to find fault with the Senators effort throughout this one, but just like in Game 1, they couldn’t take advantage of their man advantage opportunities. They went 0-for-4 and if they connected just once, it would have made all the difference

THE OTHER SAVE OF THE GAME

The posts are usually a goalie’s best friend, but after the game, Lundqvist was praising his good buddy Stu Bickel for saving a sure goal.

At the 3:30 mark of the second period, Jim O’Brien was staring at a wide open net, with Lundqvist down and out. As O’Brien’s shot headed for the roof of the net, Bickel, the Rangers defenceman, threw out his right arm to rob the Senators centre and preserve the scoreless tie.

“That was a big play, I was late for the pass (to O’Brien), because I didn’t see it,” said Lundqvist. “He pretty much had the shot there, so Bicks just made a great block. All year, we’ve been a team that has taken a lot of pride in blocking shots, but that was a great, great glove save. As a goalie, watching that, it looked really, really good.”

Not to be outdone, Lundqvist took his turn in stopping O’Brien, closing the pads to rob him with 6:30 left in the period.

YET ANOTHER CLOSE CALL

Only seconds before Boyle’s game-opening goal, Colin Greening appeared to have a free ride to the Rangers net, but defenceman Anton Stralman made a desperation dive to poke-check the puck off Greening’s stick without a shot. The Senators buzzed around the Rangers net, forcing Lundqvist into making a couple of stops, before the puck finally went up the ice.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Senators gave as good as they got physically. In fact, according to the official stats sheet, they outhit the Rangers 48-33, with Jared Cowen leading the way with six, followed by Colin Greening, Zack Smith and Chris Neil with five each. Remarkably, Zenon Konopka wasn’t credited with a single hit. Obviously, they didn’t count his bumping into Lundqvist, who chased the officials to complain about Konopka bumping his leg in the crease…Once again, the Rangers were shot blocking machines, throwing themselves in front of 21 shots, led by Dan Girardi’s five blocks. Girardi played a game high 26:10 and even picked up an assist on Boyle’s goal.

WASTING THE DEFENSIVE EFFORT

Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan can thank Boyle for stealing the offensive spotlight, because the Senators did an outstanding job of shutting down the supposed Rangers offensive leaders. Between them, Richards, Gaborik and Callahan had only four shots on goal against Anderson. Richards won only two of nine faceoffs…By the same token, Jason Spezza didn’t have his best night, either, frustrated time and again by the tough Rangers defence. Spezza had one particularly difficult shift late in the second period, when he coughed up the puck in the Rangers zone and his own zone. The shift ended with Spezza taking a holding penalty with 5:00 to go in the second period.

INJURIES, PENALTIES MAKE FOR ODD COMBINATIONS

With Daniel Alfredsson out of the lineup and Spezza in the penalty box during a Senators power play late in the first period, MacLean’s power play unit featured Neil, Konopka and Milan Michalek as his forwards. The Senators needed more from Michalek (one shot in his 19:56), especially with Alfredsson out of the lineup.

GOT A PLANE TO CATCH, TORTS?

Whatever happened to the talkative John Tortorella? His morning press conference Monday lasted precisely 53 seconds, breaking the brevity record of 68 seconds he had previously set before Game 2 Saturday morning. Not surprisingly, Tortorella refused to comment on the suspensions to Carl Hagelin and Matt Carkner.

GIVE A HAND TO THE CROWD

The Scotiabank Place crowd, oft-criticized for being too quiet and passive during games, certainly brought life to the party, with mock “LUNDQ-VIST, LUNDQ-VIST” chants and with several choruses of “AN-DY, AN-DY” following outstanding Anderson saves. The coolest part of the show from the fans, though, was that they continued with the “ALF-IE, ALF-IE” chants, counting down from the 11:11 mark of each period to the 11:00 minute mark, even though the Senators captain wasn’t able to play due to the concussion he suffered Saturday. The crowd also gave the Senators a standing ovation with six minutes remaining.

A BAD NIGHT IN SENATORS HISTORY

Following Monday’s defeat, the Senators have now won only one of seven playoff games on April 16. The Senators have lost twice to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins. Yet considering the current state of the Maple Leafs and the Penguins, they would clearly exchange places with the Senators right now.

 

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