FINAL OT
ANA
3
BOS
2
FINAL OT
ARI
4
BUF
3
FINAL
LAK
3
NYI
2
FINAL OT
NJD
2
WSH
3
FINAL
PIT
2
CAR
5
FINAL
FLA
4
TOR
1
FINAL
NYR
5
OTT
1
FINAL
SJS
6
DET
4
FINAL
NSH
3
TBL
2
FINAL
MTL
2
WPG
5
FINAL
COL
4
VAN
1

Rangers top Senators, Hammond, clinch playoff berth

Chris Stevenson  - NHL.com Correspondent | Friday, 03.27.2015 / 12:33 AM

OTTAWA -- The New York Rangers became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with their 5-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.

Chris Kreider had two goals and an assist in the first period to help the Rangers get off to a quick start. Dan Boyle, Mats Zuccarello and Tanner Glass also scored for New York (47-19-7), which had an opportunity to clinch the playoff berth with a win because the Boston Bruins lost 3-2 in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks.

It was the first regulation loss in the 17-game NHL career of Ottawa goalie Andrew Hammond, who started 14-0-1.

Curtis Lazar scored for the Senators (37-25-11), who hung on to the second wild card into playoffs in the Eastern Conference with the Bruins' overtime loss. Ottawa and Boston each has 85 points, but the Senators have played one fewer game.

The game was a good bounce-back performance for the Rangers, who lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday in New York.

"It's definitely something we talked about," said Kreider, who has 20 goals. "Lately, our starts have been pretty good, but after our start the other night, we kind of dropped off a bit and didn't play Rangers hockey. It's good to see a consistent effort from start to finish.

"I'm happy we clinched, and now we'll try and get home ice."

The Senators lost in regulation for the third time in their past 22 games (17-3-2). Hammond was pulled in the second period after he gave up five goals on 22 shots.

"They came in and did exactly what they wanted to do," Hammond said. "I thought they set the tone from the start. They play such a system; if you're not ready to play, you're going to get exposed, and I thought we did tonight."

Hammond admitted he was not 100 percent after San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture slid into him in the third period of Ottawa's 5-2 win Monday.

Asked how he would respond to his first NHL regulation loss, Hammond said, "You just have to show up tomorrow and put your big-boy boots on, and go back to work. It's been long enough now that I have confidence; I know I can play at this level. It's just a matter of coming in tomorrow and putting the work in again, and just being ready for the next game."

The Senators visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday and host the Florida Panthers on Sunday. Ottawa leads Florida by three points and has played one fewer game.

Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot made 23 saves for the victory. He is 16-4-3 since taking over the starter's role in early February after an injury to Henrik Lundqvist, who is expected to play this weekend after a vascular injury in his neck; he backed up Talbot on Thursday.

Talbot (20-8-4) is the first Rangers goalie other than Lundqvist to win 20 games since Mike Richter in 2001-02.

Zuccarello scored his 14th of the season to put the Rangers up 4-1 at 1:42 of the second period, and then New York's penalty-killers took over.

The Senators had a great opportunity to get back in the game when the Rangers took three straight penalties beginning at 10:02 of the second period. The first two were assessed to Rick Nash, and Glass was called for slashing with 34 seconds left in Nash's second penalty.

The Rangers killed off all three shorthanded situations, and Glass came out of the penalty box, took a pass from Kevin Hayes and scored his first goal of the season to make it 5-1 at 16:02 of the second.

"They got three quick (power plays) at the end of the second there that could have put them back in the game, but our penalty-killing stood tall," Vigneault said. "Our guys blocked the right shots, blocked the right lanes."

Senators coach Dave Cameron pulled Hammond shortly after Glass' goal. Chris Driedger, who was recalled from Evansville of the ECHL last week, made 10 saves in his NHL debut.

Kreider was flying to start the game, when the Rangers took a 3-1 lead and made Hammond look quite ordinary in the process.

"It's visibly noticeable when (Kreider's) going the way he is going," said Rangers center Derek Stepan, who assisted on Kreider's goals. "He's all over pucks. He's the fastest guy on the ice. He's playing a real strong game. I thought he did a really good job tonight of doing that early."

Kreider scored on a dash down the left wing at 12:38 to give the Rangers the lead, but the Senators tied it 19 seconds later on Lazar's fifth goal. New York defenseman Keith Yandle couldn't handle a bouncing puck, and Lazar broke in and scored to the glove side.

After Boyle gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with a shot from the slot, Kreider scored a backbreaker with a weak goal on Hammond.

A shot by Stepan from the left wing hit Hammond, popped into the air and fell behind the Ottawa goalie in the crease. Kreider knocked in the loose puck with a minute to go in the first period.

Kreider said the Rangers didn't have a book on Hammond.

"We didn't. Like any goalie, hot or not, veteran or rookie, (get) pucks (on net)," he said. "You can't score if you don't shoot.

"We hadn't heard all that much (about Hammond). We heard they had been hot recently. We hadn't heard much about the goalie in particular. The only thing we had really heard was they were throwing hamburgers on the ice after games. That was the extent of it. Your approach doesn't change regardless of who you're playing. That's the professional mentality."

Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi left the game in the third period after being hit by a shot by Senators defenseman Cody Ceci.

"As far as I understood quickly there, it was a gash," Vigneault said. "The puck cut him, and he was just getting stitched up. I don't think it's anything more than that."

The Rangers visit the Bruins on Saturday and host the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
12:38NYR Chris Kreider (19) ASST: Derek Stepan (34) 1 - 0 NYR
12:57OTT Curtis Lazar (5) ASST: Erik Condra (13) 1 - 1 Tie
14:40NYR Dan Boyle (9) ASST: Rick Nash (25), Chris Kreider (20) 2 - 1 NYR
19:00NYR Chris Kreider (20) ASST: Derek Stepan (35), Mats Zuccarello (32) 3 - 1 NYR
2nd Period
01:42NYR Mats Zuccarello (14) ASST: Kevin Hayes (23), Keith Yandle (41) 4 - 1 NYR
16:02NYR Tanner Glass (1) ASST: Kevin Hayes (24), Dan Boyle (10) 5 - 1 NYR
3rd Period
NONE
Three Stars of the Game
Chris Kreider
1st
G: 2Shots: 5
A: 1Hits: 2
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 3TOI: 13:49
Dan Boyle
2nd
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 3TOI: 19:38
Derek Stepan
3rd
G: 0Shots: 3
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 3TOI: 16:25
Penalty Summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
10:02NYR Rick Nash  Tripping against  Alex Chiasson
12:31NYR Rick Nash  Elbowing against  Curtis Lazar
13:57NYR Tanner Glass  Slashing against  Mika Zibanejad
3rd Period
02:12NYR Matt Hunwick  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
05:30OTT Zack Smith  Roughing against  Keith Yandle
05:30NYR Keith Yandle  Hi-sticking against  Zack Smith
06:26NYR Derek Stepan  Hi-sticking against  Erik Karlsson
09:20NYR Dan Boyle  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
shots by period
PeriodNYROTT
1st1411
2nd144
3rd49
Total3224
Team Stats
CategoryNYROTT
Power Plays0/00/6
Hits2224
Faceoff Wins2832
Giveaways616
Takeaways36
Blocked Shots1411
Penalty Minutes142
  • NY RANGERS
  • OTTAWA
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
5D. GirardiD0001021:21
10J. MillerC00-11012:52
13K. HayesR0222013:48
15T. GlassL1012212:27
16D. BrassardC00-11013:45
18M. StaalD0011021:12
19J. FastR0000013:28
20C. KreiderL2135013:49
21D. StepanC0233216:25
22D. BoyleD1132219:38
27R. McDonaghD0001024:16
28D. MooreC0001013:49
36M. ZuccarelloR1102014:42
44M. HunwickD0021217:23
45J. SheppardC0000010:41
61R. NashL0133414:21
62C. HagelinL0024015:29
93K. YandleD0122216:34
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
33C. Talbot2324.95860:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3M. MethotD0011019:02
5C. CeciD00-32016:24
6B. RyanR00-21017:55
7K. TurrisC00-12018:36
14C. GreeningL00-12012:24
15Z. SmithC0000211:50
17D. LegwandC0001016:04
22E. CondraR0101015:07
27C. LazarC1003014:30
44J. PageauC00-11015:19
46P. WierciochD00-43018:25
61M. StoneR00-13016:03
62E. GrybaD00-11017:10
65E. KarlssonD0001027:14
68M. HoffmanL00-31016:29
74M. BorowieckiD00-10017:20
90A. ChiassonR00-10013:20
93M. ZibanejadC00-21014:51
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30A. Hammond1722.77337:05
32C. Driedger10101.00022:52