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Parenteau lifts Rangers to shootout win

by Brian Hunter /
New York Rangers rookie PA Parenteau scored in the seventh round of a shootout Saturday afternoon with family members in the Scotiabank Place crowd for a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Parenteau, recalled from Hartford of the AHL a day earlier, was playing in just his third NHL game of the season and the eighth of his career. He put a shot over Senators goalie Brian Elliott and Milan Michalek missed the net on Ottawa's final attempt.

"It's pretty big," Parenteau said. "My family was here. I had a lot of friends, too, so it's a great feeling to score a shootout winner when you have a lot of people in town for you."

As big as it was for Parenteau, it was even bigger for the Rangers, who were 3-7-1 in their last 11 games.

"It's a huge relief for us," said Vinny Prospal, who scored in regulation and the shootout. "With the exception of the last game (a 5-3 home loss to Atlanta), we were playing fairly well but weren't getting any results."

Each team scored twice in the first three rounds of the penalty-shot tiebreaker, with Ales Kotalik and Prospal netting the Rangers goals and Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza answering for the Senators. But the goaltenders took over after that until Parenteau stepped up.

"Came left, made a quick little move on him and went right, and it was open on the top shelf, right side," Parenteau said of the move he made to beat Elliott. "It's a pretty good feeling right now. It's a big win for us, too."

The Senators received a power play late in overtime when Kotalik was called for tripping with 1:23 left, but the Rangers blocked several shots and Henrik Lundqvist stopped a Spezza shot just before the horn sounded.

"We needed this one really bad," said Lundqvist, who finished with 35 saves. "After practice (Friday, we said), 'We gotta turn this around in Ottawa.' We played a really good road game, I think. We took a lot of penalties but the penalty kill came up big again and saved us."

Senators defenseman Brian Lee and Prospal traded goals in the second period.

Ottawa enjoyed a 17-7 shots advantage in the second and took a 1-0 lead at 4:29 on Lee's second goal of the season, as he skated down the middle and converted a Jarkko Ruutu feed.

"It was a great pass from (Ruutu) and (Chris Kelly) took away the goalie's eyes so I think you guys could have put that one in," Lee said.

New York killed off three penalties in the period, including a very brief 5-on-3 disadvantage, and eventually tied the game with Artem Anisimov off for tripping.

Marian Gaborik worked the puck past Chris Campoli at the blue line, sped up the ice and set up Prospal for a one-timer past Elliott with 9:02 left. It was the ex-Senator's first career shorthanded goal in 894 NHL games.

"Gabby, he backs off teams," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "He's done that all year long killing penalties. It makes them maybe back off the blue line at times. We're hoping to score more shorthanded goals like that with him and Vinny. It was obviously a big play for us tonight."

In the third period it was the Senators' turn to make several trips to the box, but the Rangers couldn't capitalize. After a too-many-men penalty to Ottawa with 5:09 left, Chris Higgins hit the right post and Parenteau missed a wide-open net just after the power play had expired. Elliott, who finished with 27 saves, also stopped an in-close chance by Higgins.

"The puck kind of bounced right before I went to shoot it and I kind of went right over (the net)," Parenteau said. "I was not happy about it but I got a chance to redeem myself in the shootout."

Chris Neil nearly took advantage of a Marc Staal turnover with less than a minute left in regulation, but his shot trickled wide of the left post and the game went into overtime.

Material from wire services and team broadcast media was used in this report.
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