Game file: New York Rangers at Ottawa Senators

The Senators couldn’t hold a lead long in a game characterized by bad goaltending.

Game file: New York Rangers at Ottawa Senators
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

WHY THE SENATORS LOST

They couldn’t hold a lead long in a game characterized by bad goaltending. Three times they went up a goal on the New York Rangers and three times the Blueshirts responded (twice with alarming speed). The Senators’ first two leads of the game lasted 1:43 and 1:09, with the third disappearing after a relatively lengthy 14:43. The Rangers finally took one of their own with less than six minutes remaining and made it stand up for the win. If the Senators keep this up, they’ll be out of the playoff race by Christmas.

STUD

Marian Gaborik, Rangers

The Rangers’ speedster gave the Senators fits all night. While he failed to score on a handful of breakaways after sneaking behind Ottawa’s defencemen, he did pick up two assists on the night. The first was a beauty, as Gaborik threaded a pass through the legs of both Chris Phillips and Sergei Gonchar to a streaking Derek Stepan.

DUD

Brian Elliott, Senators

Lundqvist wound up winning this game, but neither goaltender was particularly impressive. Elliott fought the puck all night, bobbled shots and gave up gigantic rebounds. The game-tying goal in the third period was by far the worst. Erik Christensen threw a puck at the net while standing at the boards well below the circle that somehow went five-hole and opened the door to the Rangers’ comeback.

GAME CHANGER

Mr. Neil, your seat in the doghouse is ready. With the game tied 3-3 late in the third period, the Senators’ agitator inexplicably ran Rangers centre Ryan Callahan from behind right at the players’ bench. The officials were forced to call a blatantly obvious infraction and the Rangers, who had struggled on the power play all night, finally cashed in.

KEY STATS

- .857: Brian Elliott’s save percentage.
- 24: Saves for Henrik Lundqvist.
- 4: Consecutive home losses for the Senators.
- 5: Consecutive road wins for the Rangers.

YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

Senators centre Mike Fisher scored twice and would have had a hat trick if one of his goals wasn’t clawed back upon video review. The optical illusion created by the puck hitting the crossbar and post before bouncing away from the net was enough to fool just about everyone at Scotiabank Place — including the officials. They called it a good goal and the Senators enjoyed a few moments of celebration before the NHL war room called for a chat.

DEPTH PLAYERS

There was a time in this town when a line featuring Alex Kovalev and Peter Regin would have been considered the first or second unit. The trio of those two plus Jesse Winchester was clearly fourth on coach Cory Clouston’s depth chart, however. Neither Regin nor Kovalev managed a single shot on goal against the Rangers and both registered less than 10 minutes of ice time. Could a seat in the press box be far off for Ottawa’s $5 million man?

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