OTTAWA (AP) -Both the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators praised winning goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
|With sharp goaltending and tough, physical play, the Rangers beat Ottawa for just the third time in their last 13 meetings.
Lundqvist was sharp in making 34 saves and led the Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Senators on Saturday.
"We played pretty solid, but Hank was great in the nets - he made a lot of big saves," said Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr, who had a goal and assists. "He was the key. If you fall behind against a team like that, it's hard."
Martin Straka, who also had a goal and assist, scored during a two-man advantage in the first period. Jagr struck in the second as the Rangers beat the Senators for only the third time in 13 games.
Brendan Shanahan added his NHL-leading 22nd goal into an empty net with 14 seconds remaining and Lundqvist did the rest for New York, which has won two straight following a four-game losing streak.
In a back-and-forth game with plenty of chances at both ends, Lundqvist frustrated the Senators several times. He made 17 saves in the second period to preserve New York's lead.
"The last two games have been really good for us," Lundqvist said. "It was a big game for us. I think we played one of our best games this year. They were smart and patient, but this game meant a lot for us. I was patient on the shots. I felt I was in control of the rebounds."
Jason Spezza scored a power-play goal for Ottawa, which played a second consecutive game without captain Daniel Alfredsson (hip) and defenseman Wade Redden (chest).
The Senators have dropped two straight after winning four in a row and eight of nine. They got some good news, however, as Alfredsson left with the team for its upcoming road trip. He could return Sunday against Columbus, but Redden didn't make the trip.
"I thought our guys did a good job of playing well without them," Spezza said. "You have to tip your hat to Lundqvist. We hit him a few times. He made some big saves. We played a pretty strong game. We had just as many chances as them if not more, we just didn't bury them."
Ray Emery stopped 26 shots for Ottawa, which had won four straight home games but fell to 6-7 there. New York hadn't beaten the Senators on the road since March 21, 2002.
"It was very good for us," Shanahan said. "They've got an excellent hockey team. We did a lot of things good defensively. Henrik was Henrik. We've come to expect that from him. Emery made some great saves at the other end and they came down and Henrik would do the same. That's what we need from him."
The Rangers opened the scoring late in the first period while the Senators were playing two men down after consecutive penalties to Spezza and Antoine Vermette.
Jagr threaded a perfect cross-ice pass to Straka, and his one-timer from a sharp angle beat Emery to make it 1-0 at 17:02.
The point extended Straka's scoring streak to nine games, during which he has seven goals and nine assists.
Jagr was at it again just more than 6 minutes into the second period when he took a pass in the neutral zone and wound his way into the slot before firing a wrist shot over Emery's shoulder to double the Rangers' advantage.
Spezza cut it to 2-1 late in the period, redirecting Christoph Schubert's shot from the point during an Ottawa power play.
Spezza has at least a point in eight straight games, with six goals and six assists in that stretch.
The Senators had a great chance to tie it in the final minute of the second but Lundqvist made a glove save to deny Dany Heatley on a breakaway then followed with pair of stops on ensuing rebounds.
Both teams were 1-for-4 on the power play.
Notes: The Senators recalled C Serge Payer from Binghamton of the AHL on Friday to take Alfredsson's place. ... Rangers D Sandis Ozolinsh was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. ... Ottawa will play four games in seven days on its trip. ... The Rangers will face Florida at home on Sunday.