Rangers' top scorers hope to get going vs. Senators
Friday, 04.20.2012 / 1:20 PM
Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff WriterSENATORS at RANGERS
(Best-of-seven series tied, 2-2)
TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS, MSG (HD)
It's now a best-of-three with the top-seeded Rangers finding the going tough against the eighth-seeded Senators. The Senators have not played with a lead the entire series, winning both of their games in comeback fashion in overtime. Since the Rangers scored the series' first four goals at even strength in Game 1, the Senators are outscoring the Rangers 6-2 at 5-on-5. Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson
has missed the last two games with a concussion and will not make the trip to New York for Game 5.
Trailing 2-0 midway through the second period in Game 4, Milan Michalek
scored his first goal of the series to cut the gap to 2-1. In the final minutes of the period, Sergei Gonchar
blasted home a power-play goal to tie the game.
That's how the score held through overtime, when Kyle Turris
snapped a shot past Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
to even the series.
"It's definitely up there," Turris said. "To score in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in overtime is something I think every kid dreams of. It was very exciting, that’s for sure."
The rally was made possible by Craig Anderson
, who stopped the final 27 shots he faced after allowing two goals on six shots to start the game.
"I thought he was our best player," coach Paul MacLean said. "He kept it at 2-0 and made two saves before the goal in overtime as well. I thought he was outstanding. I thought he showed great leadership and competitiveness for the team."
Despite being the top seed in the East, they have found themselves in nothing but tight games in this series with the Senators, except for that 12-minute stretch in Game 1 in which the Rangers scored three goals on four shots.
They've had their struggles at even strength ever since, and captain Ryan Callahan
said that's a result of allowing Anderson a clear line of sight to the puck.
"I think we just have to continue to get pucks to the net, get some bodies there," Callahan said. "I think he's seeing a lot of shots. If we do that and bang in some rebounds, I think we'll be successful."
and Marian Gaborik
haven't done much since Game 1, either. They had two power-play assists in Game 4, but just like the rest of the Rangers, haven't been a factor at even strength the past three games.
"Your best players have to be at their best, especially this time of year. You need them," Callahan said. "You're going to have other guys step up and score some big goals like Boyle has, and Stralman has two. For us to win the series, we definitely have to our top guys going."
There's not a lot of heat heading into Game 5 on either team. Neither squad has a player with more than three points, but Anderson has been terrific since the opener. Since allowing the fourth goal in Game 1, he has stopped 89 of 94 shots (.947 save percentage).
Alfredsson (concussion) will not play in Game 5 and his status beyond that is uncertain.
There are only nine players in this series who have more points than New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who has two assists in four games against the Florida Panthers.
"Obviously, we just need to score more goals." -- Richards, when asked if the Rangers' top players need to be better in this series