OTTAWA – Resiliency got the Ottawa Senators into the postseason -- and that same resiliency pushed them to even their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
Kyle Turris’ series-tying overtime goal washed away all memories of their shaky start – the Rangers were up by two goals 6:10 into the first period and the Senators needed a pair of second-period goals to get even. Turris' OT goal have the Senators their first playoff win at Scotiabank Place since June 2, 2007 -- and was their first overtime win in exactly eight years; former Senator Mike Fisher scored in overtime in Game 6 for a 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 18, 2004.
RANGERS VS. SENATORS
Sens even series with 3-2 overtime winBy Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer
After the Senators rallied from a 2-0 deficit, Kyle Turris scored 2:42 into overtime to tie the series at two games apiece heading back to New York.
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"The resiliency we’ve shown all year is what we showed tonight," center Jason Spezza said. "We got down two tonight and we didn’t lose our composure, and we played real good hockey after that. I think that’s just a testament to how this team has been all year – big goals from a lot of different guys, and that’s playoff hockey."
Wednesday night also marked the first game that the Senators were able to pull off a postseason win without Daniel Alfredsson in the lineup. Ottawa had been 0-3 when its captain was out of the lineup during the playoffs. Alfredsson is still recovering from the concussion that resulted from a blow to the head from Rangers forward Carl Hagelin in Game 2.
Chris Phillips was aware of the history, but said the team has to push everything aside and focus.
"That stuff makes for good stories, but in this dressing room it’s about results – just getting the win is all that matters," he said. "This time of year, it doesn’t matter how you get those results, but it’s just unbelievable how every game is the biggest game, even when you’re not facing elimination. To be tied up now and go to the best-of-three, as opposed to the alternative, being down 3-1, that’s just huge for us."
The Senators' refusal to quit has been the hallmark of a team that was expected to miss the playoffs again after finishing 13th in the East last season. They showed the same kind of determination on Wednesday.
Phillips said holding on to the positive energy is critical at this stage.
"We're not making headlines and thinking of good things to write in between," Phillips said. "But having those experiences of coming back and you look at them scoring power-play goals and you think at 5-on-5, you're going to get your chances on the power play. It's a belief in this room to keep pushing forward. It's just not the time of year to hang your head and pout because you're down 2-0. You're not going to get anywhere like that."
Though they haven't led for even one second of playing time, the Senators head to New York for Game 5 on Saturday all even at two wins each -- and with a growing sense of confidence that they can beat the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
"We got to stay confident in our game and play it for 60 minutes [or more], just like we have before," Turris said. "We’re confident in our ability to come back and beat teams like this."