About the game
Despite the fact that the Senators jumped out to a 1-0 lead just over two minutes into the game, it never felt like the Rangers would lose. A defensive breakdown left Austin Watson all alone in the slot and he converted on a nice feed from Mark Kastelic.
The fact that the Senators scored at all was unlikely as the Rangers had 20 of the first 21 shot attempts and outshot Ottawa 6-1 for the first 11 minutes. The only shot by Ottawa was in the net. The offense was helped by a penalty to Josh Norris that the Rangers couldn’t convert on.
All of that pressure finally paid off when Artemi Panarin scored an unassisted goal.
Andrew Copp lost the offensive zone faceoff, but pressured the Senators, forcing a bad pass to the slot that Panarin intercepted and put past Anton Forsberg.
The second period was all Rangers as they scored three goals to build a 4-1 lead. They had to kill off a penalty to Adam Fox three minutes in and the penalty killers didn’t allow a shot on goal by Ottawa and had three fabulous scoring chances that they couldn’t finish. One was a two-on-one and Mika Zibanejad passed up a shot to try to get the pass to Chris Kreider. On Friday he had pledged to keep passing to Kreider until he got to 50 goals and it looked like he was try to his word.
At 6:56, it was Copp’s turn to score on a fantastic feed from Artemi Panarin.
The Russian threaded a pass through traffic to Copp who was alone in front.
Two minutes later, Chris Krieder notched his 48th goal, set up by Ryan Lindgren and Mika Zibanejad.
Lindgren, of all people, led the rush up ice and dished the puck to Kreider who fired a shot past Forsberg.
Ryan Strome wrapped up the scoring with a goal 17:27 on a nifty feed from Panarin who had led the rush down the left wing into the Ottawa zone.
Somehow, he saw Strome driving to the net and made a perfect pass that Strome put past Forsberg.
The second period ended with the score 4-1 with the Rangers outshooting Ottawa 25-9 and with an incredible 54-15 shot attempts advantage for the game.
The Rangers settled down in the third period and played a fairly passive period with the only goal coming again from Kreider as he put a snap shot past Forsberg for number 49.
It was an unusual night for Kreider as he didn’t score on the power play and both of his goals were from a distance, no tip-ins or deflections.
Igor Shesterkin was a little more busy in the third period as he made 13 saves to preserve the win.
Here is a five minutes video recap of the game: