NHL PLAYOFFS: EASTERN CONFERENCE Senators advance to Eastern finals

Adrian Wyld  The Canadian Press
Rangers need win at home for another shot in Ottawa
Author

19 May, 2017

The Ottawa Senators are headed to the Eastern Conference finals.

Jesper Fast, Nick Holden, Ryan McDonagh and Jimmy Vesey scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 32 saves. The team got younger this season, and the complexion might very well continue to change as the Rangers try to find that ideal Stanley Cup formula. "It's not a great feeling", Lundqvist said after his 22-save effort. If not for that, the series wouldn't have even gotten back to MSG. "Julie and Beckett and I walked into the banquet hall, and there had to be a couple hundred people, and all the kids come running at us and just bear-hugging us, 30 or 40 kids". We wanted to be better than we were both times we played here, and that meant the first period.

Ottawa will face either the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Washington Capitals, who play game 7 at the Verizon Center on Wednesday.

Erik Karlsson, Senators - Karlsson is the first defenseman in Senators history to score multiple game-winning goals in a single postseason.

The Senators took control early, with Mike Hoffman putting the team up 1-0 five minutes in.

In the decisive 20-minute period, the Rangers quickly regained the gap to one goal, but were unable to equalise. They made life hard for the Senators by sending a message early.

The Senators needed a fluky goal from Derick Brassard with 1:26 remaining in the third period to tie the game and an overtime victor from Kyle Turris to move ahead 3-2 in the series. If this process is managed correctly and the right moves are made, I do believe NY can really contend next year, but that will require the proper use of current assets and addition of needed other ones. You can easily guess that management might believe that this group has gone as far as it can, that some new blood is needed. "They got the job done".

Through 40 minutes, the Senators were giving themselves a chance and were ahead 3-1 despite being outshot 24-21. Lundqvist is 4-2 with a 1.50 goals-against average and.947 save percentage in six career National Hockey League playoff home games against Ottawa.

Scored the goal which cut the Rangers' deficit to 2-1.

Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Erik Karlsson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau all scored for the victors, while goals from Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider weren't enough to counter for NY. Derick Brassard and the Senators didn't let up though and tied the game 4-4 with 1:26 seconds left in the game to send game five to overtime.

"That's what special players do", Stone said of Karlsson.

"The only focus we've got is the first 10 minutes of [Game 6], which need to be better than they were the last time that we were here", Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said Monday. "I was just coming from the bench with some speed and I just went in the slot there and I just batted it out of the air and I got lucky". Lundqvist has been strong in the Rangers wins against the Senators, allowing one goal in each of the games. "We just continued to move our legs". They've been a very fun group who have overcome a lot of adversity just to make the postseason. Clarke MacArthur had two assists, and Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots. It does however allow some time for Erik Karlsson to recalibrate, as his foot has taken a beating this series. The Senators had more verve, and they had the best player in Karlsson.

"It was right there for us", goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. It was only the second shot of the game for the Senators. "I wasn't sure if he was going to play or not". It feels pretty good. "They're going to bring it and they're going to have a really good game".


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