NHL Playoffs: Rangers top Senators, 4-1, knot series at 2-2

NHL Playoffs: Rangers top Senators, 4-1, knot series at 2-2

NEW YORK -- While New York stars Rick Nash and Chris Kreider receive playoff-level attention from Ottawa, Oscar Lindberg and Tanner Glass are providing an unexpected lift for the Rangers.

Lindberg scored two goals, Glass had two assists and the Rangers beat the Senators 4-1 on Thursday night to tie their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.

"I think our line has been doing a really good job, getting pucks back from the forecheck," Lindberg said. "We had two good chances today and we were able to bear down."

Kreider and Nick Holden also scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist had 22 saves.

Kyle Turris scored for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson made 17 saves before being replaced by Mike Condon for the third period. Condon finished with nine stops.

"They are a good hockey team. They came out and played their game to a T," Anderson said. "Had their fans and the momentum. We weren't able to get anything going."

Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson also left the game after the second period with an injury. Karlsson played during the first round with two microfractures in one of his feet from blocking a shot late in the regular season.

Coach Guy Boucher said he expects both Anderson and Karlsson to play in Game 5 on Saturday at Ottawa.

"We felt it was better for him to keep him off the ice in the (third) period," Boucher said of Karlsson. "He could've come back, but we just wanted to make sure. He has a lower-body injury."

Lindberg also scored the Rangers' final goal in their Game 3 win, with Glass picking up an assist. Glass, a forward who was scratched in the first two games of the series, has brought an edge to the team.

"Look at these assists," Glass said. "They are not exactly playmaking assists. They are just kind of the gritty, grinding game I bring. Sometimes it ends up in the back of the net."

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has appreciated the balanced scoring.

"Definitely tonight Oscar's line came up big for us with a couple of big plays," Vigneault said. "Tanner is just playing disciplined, smart hockey and that's what he needs to do."

The game got physical in the third period as the teams combined for 78 penalty minutes, with the majority of that coming in the final minute.

Lundqvist has stopped 48 of his past 50 shots after allowing six goals in the Senators' double-overtime win in Game 2. The Rangers have won four consecutive home games this postseason.

"I think it's the last couple of games," Lundqvist said. "It's not a one-man show here. It's about four lines doing everything right and that's what you need this time of the year."

Lindberg scored both of the Rangers' second-period goals. Glass blocked Ben Harpur's shot and Michael Grabner grabbed the loose puck and broke in with Lindberg, who scored on a one-timer at 2:01.

Glass also helped set up Lindberg's next goal. He outworked Senators defenseman Cody Ceci for the puck behind the Ottawa net and sent it to the boards. J.T. Miller grabbed the loose puck and passed to Lindberg at the point for a 3-0 lead at 15:54.

Kreider made it 4-0 with a power-play goal at 10:45 of the third.

Turris scored at 13:34, but the Senators had trouble generating sustained pressure against Lundqvist and were sloppy with the puck at times.

"We've got to hit the net," Boucher said. "Whenever we got chances, we didn't capitalize."

For the second consecutive game, the Rangers controlled the first period. In Game 3, they scored the first two goals and outshot Ottawa 15-5. On Thursday, they outshot the Senators 11-7 and opened the scoring again.

Holden led a breakout from the defensive zone and sent a pass to Kevin Hayes at center ice. Hayes passed back to Holden along the left wing and he broke in toward the net and beat Anderson with a wrist shot that went over his right pad at 14:04.

The Rangers have scored the first goal in each game of the series.

"They played well at home for their two games and we played at home for our two games and we've got a series," Boucher said.

Through four games, the Rangers have led for 149:56, have been tied for 108:47 and have trailed for 4:11. ... Lundqvist earned his 61st playoff win to tie Tom Barrasso for 13th on the NHL's career list. ... Senators Fs Bobby Ryan and Zack Smith returned to the lineup after leaving Game 3 with injuries. D Chris Wideman and F Tom Pyatt both made their debuts in the series. D Fredrik Claesson and F Tommy Wingels were scratched. ... Rangers F Pavel Buchnevich was scratched for the second consecutive game and replaced by Glass.

Late rally gives Flyers something to show for strong effort

Late rally gives Flyers something to show for strong effort


RALEIGH, N.C. – Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol commended his team for a complete 60-minute effort that was needed to overtake and defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 at PNC Arena on Saturday night (see observations).

“It’s an important two points, but I guess, as important I thought it was a really hard-working, start-to-finish win for us,” he said.

Placing Alex Lyon in net to lead from the back end, the young netminder made 23 stops, many critical, that allowed the Flyers to generate momentum to strike all at once in the third period.

Trailing 1-0, containing the Hurricanes’ speed and ability to maintain puck possession was a priority – somewhat of ‘survive and advance’ mindset to have in March.

The Flyers won 27 of 48 draws, a stat that eventually evened out, but was a critical one that the Flyers led in for two periods, before taking advantage of Carolina turnovers in the third.

 “It was a grind,” Hakstol said. “I liked the way we played in the first two periods. We talked about a couple of little things we can maybe improve going into the third, but the biggest thing was making sure we went out and got a big penalty kill to start with and just go back at it.”

For 40 minutes, Hurricanes netminder Cam Ward stymied shooters like Jakub Voracek and crease cleaners like Wayne Simmonds, among others, but the force of the shield he presented eventually diminished late in the game. The Flyers scored all four of their goals in the final 11-plus minutes.

While giving the puck away 10 times, 15 takeaways allowed the Flyers to regain possessions and capitalize on their chances when it counted most. 

“I don’t know if there was a catalyst,” Hakstol said when asked to identify the turning point in the game for his team.

“A lot of times it’s the simple, hard things that you do. That’s what it takes to score at this time of year.”

The win pulled the Flyers back into a tie for third place in the Metropolitan Division, a floating buoy line extending to the wild-card spot they will tread beside for the remainder of the season, unless they can compile more wins like this one.

“We needed a win for a lot of different reasons,” Hakstol said. “We needed the two points in every respect, but we needed a win for our group in here to have something to show for their hard work. When you lose games and can’t put wins together, the negatives really start to magnify, even though there’s a ton of positives. On a couple of different levels, this was an important two points.”

Both teams in wild-card spots keep close to Flyers

AP Images

Both teams in wild-card spots keep close to Flyers

LOS ANGELES — Keith Kincaid stopped 38 saves for his first shutout of the season, helping the New Jersey Devils improve their playoff positioning with a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Michael Grabner, Nico Hischier and Miles Wood each scored for the Devils, who moved into third place in the Metropolitan Division. New Jersey leads Philadelphia and Columbus by one point with both the Flyers and Blue Jackets playing later.

The Devils have won three in a row and four of five.

Jonathan Quick made 25 saves for the Kings, who are tied with Anaheim for third in the Pacific (see full recap).

Nutivaara's second-period goal lifts Columbus past Ottawa
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Markus Nutivaara scored a power-play goal in the second period, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 22 shots, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Saturday night.

Boone Jenner also scored -- his third tally in three games -- for the Blue Jackets, who have won a season-high seven straight and are holding on to the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 83 points, tied with Philadelphia and one point ahead of New Jersey.

Alexandre Burrows scored his fifth of the year and Mike Condon stopped 33 shots for Ottawa, which saw a three-game winning streak snapped on the second night of a back-to-back (see full recap).

McDavid's 3 points get Oilers past Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. — Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists in the third period and the Edmonton Oilers rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ty Rattie and Adam Larsson also scored for the Oilers, who are 4-1-1 in their past six games.

Cam Talbot made 40 saves for the Oilers.

Frank Vatrano and Vincent Trocheck scored for Florida.

Roberto Luongo made 32 saves for the Panthers, who lost for the first time this season when leading after two periods (23-1).

With Edmonton trailing 2-1, McDavid scored his 34th on a shot from the right circle 38 seconds into the third period, and Larsson's fourth of the season at 6:13 gave Edmonton the 3-2 lead (see full recap).