Giveaways doom Senators in loss to Rangers

Even as they committed an astonishing 21 giveaways, more incredible was that the Ottawa Senators were in Wednesday’s game until the final seconds.

Giveaways doom Senators in loss to Rangers

Even as they committed an astonishing 21 giveaways, the Ottawa Senators were, somewhat incredibly, still in Wednesday’s game against the New York Rangers until the final seconds.
Indeed, that the Senators still had a chance to win tells you something about the Rangers: they weren’t much better, though in the end they were good enough to squeeze out a 3-2 victory.
It was Ottawa’s fourth straight loss, but Ottawa coach Paul MacLean could take some encouragement from the fact that his team, despite its mistakes, played (almost) well enough to win.
“I thought we played real well,” said MacLean.
“I thought we were in control of the game for the most part, for the whole game.
“But again, the lack of efficiency and execution in our own zone led to create opportunities for them.
“We turned the puck over 21 times I believe it was. Those are just things that are going to come back and haunt you.”
And haunt them they did.
Marian Garborik had two goals, while Derek Stepan had one goal and two assists for the Rangers.
Milan Michalek and Nick Foligno scored for the Senators.
Craig Anderson faced only 19 shots while Henrik Lundqvist faced 31.
As the Senators now head out on a six-game road trip, all the Senators can do is practise the mistakes out of their system, said MacLean.
We have to keep doing it and make sure we stress the focus for the whole period,” he said.
“That’s all we can do – talk about it and make sure we play for the whole game.
“One thing about the NHL, you have to go out and execute every shift you’re on the ice. Otherwise the other team is going to take advantage of what you give them and we gave them great opportunities.”
That was a sentiment echoed by Jason Spezza.
“Mistakes are really costing us right now,” he said.
“We’re finding ways to lose games rather than finding ways to win games.”
After a scoreless first period, the second seemed at first as if it might tilt in Ottawa’s favour.
Just three minutes in, Jesse Winchester put maybe the best pass he’s ever made on Erik Karlsson’s stick for a chance that Lundqvist just barely got with his glove.
And five minutes later, Michalek broke the scoreless tie when he froze Lundqvist with a shot to the high stick side for his 10th goal.
Alas, the euphoria lasted just 42 seconds.
Over the next two minutes, starting at 9:21, the Senators would pay for turning over the puck.
They had to expect that after 17 giveaways over two periods.
Gaborik would get his first of the night and Stepan would add another to erase Ottawa’s 2-1 lead.

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WHY SENATORS LOST: One word: giveaways. The mistake-prone Senators turned the puck over all night, giving it away 21 times, and they paid for it.

STUD: Derek Stepan. He was in on all three New York goals, getting one of them and two assists. He got the second after taking the puck from David Rundblad behind the Ottawa net and eventually knocking in a rebound. On the first, he was the beneficiary of a turnover by Sergei Gonchar and got the puck to Marian Gaborik for a goal.

DUD: David Rundblad. You have to wonder what Brian Lee was thinking when Rundblad got stripped of the puck behind the Ottawa net by Stepan, leading to New York’s second goal. Rundblad sure made a liar of coach Paul MacLean, who said in the morning that “at this point in time, David Rundblad is the better player.” That point in time must have been fleeting.

MILESTONE: Jared Cowen’s fight with Rangers centre Andre Deveaux at 13:16 of the second period was the first of his NHL career. Cowen had what could best be called a scuffle with Toronto’s Dion Phanuef in a pre-season game, coming out of it with an instigator penalty and a misconduct, while Phaneuf got just a minor. The consensus on this one was that it was a draw.

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