BOSTON — Both teams had things to be happy about Tuesday night after the New York Rangers’ 4-3 shootout win over the surging Boston Bruins.
However, both Original Six clubs also had reasons to be not so thrilled.
“We got the two points, that’s the feeling you have,” New York coach John Tortorella said after his team lost a 3-0 third-period lead, allowed two goals in 48 seconds in the last 1:31 and then survived thanks to goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
“We still hung in there. Hank (Lundqvist) stood in there strong, and we get the two points; that’s the most important thing.”
On the Boston side, coach Claude Julien and his players knew they had escaped with a point on a night the home team didn’t play well until the third period, and on a night when goalie Tuukka Rask should have stopped two of the three goals he allowed.
“We definitely did a great job of digging ourselves out of a hole, but I think there’s a few things we need to clean up after that game,” said Brad Marchand, whose seventh goal of the season tied it at 19:17 of the third period. “We’re definitely happy to get that point, but we have to play better than that.”
The victory was the third in a row for the Rangers (7-5-0), while the Bruins, off to the best 10-game start in franchise history, fell to 8-1-2. Boston’s 18 points match the club’s all-time high for 11 games. Both of the extra-time losses have come at the hands of the Rangers. Boston also beat New York in the opener of the lockout-delayed season.
David Krejci (No. 4) broke Lundqvist’s bid for his seven shutout of the Bruins at 8:44 of the third. Nathan Horton (No. 4) and Marchand then forced the OT.
With Rask pulled, Horton scored on a rebound at 18:29 to make it 3-2. Rask returned to the net and quickly came out again. This time, Patrice Bergeron’s pass from the high slot was went off Callahan. But the puck went right to Marchand, who fired it into the top corner.
On the other end, Patrice Bergeron’s shot from the high slot was blocked by Ryan McDonagh, but the puck went right to Marchand, who fired it into the top corner.
Lundqvist stopped four shots in overtime and was successful on three of the Bruins’ four shootout chances.
“I’m still a little disappointed it went into overtime,” Lundqvist said. “I did just a bad read on the second goal … that’s disappointing to feel right now, but overall it was a great game for us and me personally. I felt really good.”
Krejci, the No. 4 Boston shootout shooter, lost control of the puck on his try. Ryan Callahan then beat Rask to end the game. Rick Nash scored earlier in the shootout for New York, but Marchand scored to force a fourth round.
Lundqvist was outstanding, making 37 saves. He came in with a 1.63 career goals-against average against the Bruins and improved to 21-7-2 against Boston.
Carl Hagelin (No. 4), Derek Stepan (No. 2) and defenseman Anton Stralman (No. 1, from well out on the right side, over Rask’s pad) scored for the Rangers, now 5-0-0 when leading after two periods.
Julien said of Stralman’s tally, “Probably a weak goal, I would say.”
The teams came in 28th and 29th in the NHL on the power play, and both came up empty again (0-for-4). The Rangers failed on a 1:18 two-man advantage late in the second period and early in the third. The Bruins are 0-for-23 on home power plays this season but do lead the NHL in penalty killing.
One of the New York kills came on the Rangers’ sixth too-man-men penalty of the season (three goals against on the six infractions).
“It’s stupid. It sucks, it’s brutal, I can use a lot of different things (to say),” Tortorella said when asked about the too-many-men infractions.
NOTES: Nineteen of the past 24 games between the two old rivals have been decided by one goal. … Milan Lucic and Dennis Seidenberg both had two assists for the Bruins. … The Bruins signed veteran winger Jay Pandolfo to a one-year/two-way contract (pro-rated share of $660,000 NHL/$350,000 minors) and placed him on waivers so they can send him to AHL Providence. The former Boston University star and native of nearby Winchester, Mass., a standout penalty killer and defensive forward who played for the Islanders last season after 13 with New Jersey, had been skating with the team and was free to sign with any team. He’ll be 39 Dec. 27. … Speaking of local college stars, New York’s Brian Boyle, a Boston College product, was a healthy scratch for the third straight game, saying, “It’s infuriating sitting out, it’s awful.” … Another BU product, Rangers defenseman Matt Gilroy, played in his 200th NHL game. … The Rangers host the Islanders on Thursday night, while the Bruins open a five-game road trip in Buffalo on Friday night. … Boston’s Shawn Thornton returned after missing three games with a concussion suffered in a fight with Buffalo’s John Scott. … The Boston-Tampa Bay game snowed out last Saturday in Boston will be made up April 25.
Senators 2, Sabres 0: The offensively challenged Ottawa Senators needed an heroic performance from their early-season MVP to keep their losing streak from reaching three games.
Craig Anderson rose to the occasion.
After watching Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets from the bench, Anderson returned to the crease for his 11th start in 13 games. He made it his best, kicking aside 42 shots as the Senators defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 Tuesday night at Scotiabank Place.
It was Anderson’s second shutout of the season and 21st of his career.
Erik Karlsson and Erik Condra scored the goals, both coming in the second period.
The loss was the Sabres’ fifth in their past seven games, leaving them with a 5-8-1 record. Ottawa improved to 7-4-2.
The Senators entered the night having scored just seven times in their previous five games, four of which came in a victory over the Sabres exactly a week earlier.
Included in the hardships were a pair of 1-0 shutouts at the hands of backup goalies.
Quite obviously, they were missing top center Jason Spezza, who watched from the press box while recovering from back surgery.
Fortunately for them, they still have a healthy Karlsson.
The defending Norris Trophy winner scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season, and the first short-handed goal of his career, with a hard shot from just outside the right wing faceoff circle to break a scoreless deadlock 15:20 into the second period.
It was the Senators’ first goal in a span of 121:15, dating back two games, and it was quickly followed by another.
Condra picked up his second of the season 1:54 later, swatting home a puck that found him in the slot.
The way Anderson was playing, that was all the Senators would need.
Anderson, who has the best goals-against average and save percentage of any No. 1 goalie in the league, kept his team in the game the first 20 minutes, when the Senators were outshot 13-7 despite having a couple of power plays. His most incredible stop was off Steve Ott, whose shot was floating toward an open net before Anderson reached back and knocked it away.
With Buffalo defenseman Christian Ehrhoff in the box, Sabres goalie Ryan Miller made huge saves off Mika Zibanejad and Daniel Alfredsson, then got lucky as a puck bounced over Kyle Turris’ stick as Turris was poised to swat it into an open side.
The Senators left immediately after the game for Pittsburgh, where they meet up with the Penguins on Wednesday night. The Sabres begin a three-game homestand against the Boston Bruins on Friday.
NOTES: Senators captain Alfredsson is tied with Dallas Stars winger Jaromir Jagr as the greatest Buffalo slayer of all time. Both players have 42 career goals against the Sabres, more than anyone else, although Alfredsson has played 88 games vs. Buffalo while Jagr has suited up for just 76. … Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers was back in the lineup after sitting out the previous two games as a healthy scratch. “I’ve had a couple of really good meetings with him, trying to get his head in the right place, being ready to play,” coach Lindy Ruff said of Myers, a former first-round pick who has one goal and a team worst minus-9 rating through 12 games. “Now it’s up to him.” … With Spezza recovering from surgery, his assistant captain’s “A’ has been worn by the player whom coach Paul MacLean feels earns it on a daily basis. Against the Sabres, it was on the sweater of defenseman Marc Methot, who was playing just his 13th game for Ottawa. … John Scott, T.J. Brennan and Alexander Sulzer were the Sabres’ scratches. Andre Benoit was the Senators’ designated sitter.