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Rangers defeat Senators for eighth straight win

by Chris Stevenson /

OTTAWA -- Defenseman Dan Boyle scored the decisive goal in the shootout when the New York Rangers won their eighth straight game, a 2-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

Boyle scored on Senators goaltender Craig Anderson in the third round.

Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves for the Rangers (13-2-2); Anderson made 33 saves for the Senators (8-5-4).

Boyle, a 39-year-old Ottawa native, said he wasn't sure how many more games he will play here in front of friends and family, so scoring his third career game-deciding shootout goal was special. His brother and about a dozen friends were at the game to see him score his 11th goal in 38 shootout attempts.

"There's not too many more times I might be playing here, so it was nice to have some people in the crowd and give them a little reward," he said. "More importantly, I think, reward the team and the coach for working hard and playing hard tonight and getting the two [points] and not leaving a point out there."

Boyle has been a healthy scratch three times this season.

"I've been hard on myself a lot, but I think at the end of the day it's about winning hockey games," he said. "When I get home at night, with the start we've had, it makes things a lot better. Obviously, I'm not who I was 10 years ago, but I can still be effective out there and help this team. Wins are pretty much all I care about."

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault used Boyle in the shootout because of his past successes.

"We've used Dan a couple of times before and he's always had some pretty good moves," Vigneault said. "Shootouts. Who knows? You throw guys over the boards and it worked out for us tonight."

Each team scored on the power play in a wide open and entertaining first period when the Rangers outshot the Senators 11-10.

Chris Kreider scored his third goal of the season for the Rangers at 2:31 with Ottawa's Milan Michalek in the penalty box for holding. New York defenseman Keith Yandle passed the puck to Kevin Hayes in the high slot and Kreider deflected Hayes' shot.

The Senators took advantage of an odd-man rush during their power play when Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh fell in the Ottawa zone. Forwards Bobby Ryan and Mika Zibanejad, on the front end of a 5-on-2, passed the puck back and forth before Zibanejad set up Erik Karlsson for his third goal of the season, third in three games, at 6:33.

Kreider was assessed an instigator penalty, five minutes for fighting and a misconduct after fighting Ottawa's Zack Smith at 15:37 of the second period. It occurred after Smith hit Rangers forward Derek Stepan in front of the benches. Stepan left the game but returned in the third period.

Each team had chances to win it in overtime. Ottawa's Mike Hoffman hit the post twice and New York's Rick Nash hit the post after an end-to-end rush. Zibanejad shot wide when it looked like he had Lundqvist beaten to the stick side after a setup from Ryan.

"[Zibanejad] asked me never to give it to him again in that situation, and I said 'I'm not,'" Ryan said. "I'll maybe be a little more selfish next time.

"We'll laugh it off tomorrow, but I know he's not very happy with himself today. I just told him 'if you hit the net anywhere there it's in,' because it's a lot to ask their goalie to come all the way across the net, especially when he shoots the puck the way he does. If he hits the net, we're in here celebrating."

Ryan scored his fifth goal in six shootout attempts this season, but Lundqvist stopped Kyle Turris and Zibanejad. After Anderson stopped Nash, Mats Zuccarello scored on a shot to the glove side and Boyle's goal ended it.

"I thought we did a lot of good things managing the puck," Stepan said. "This team is a fast team, a high-skilled team, and we were able to limit that. It was kind of a greasy road win, just finding a way to get it done."

The Senators have been battling to find consistency and Karlsson said he was encouraged by the effort.

"We've been giving ourselves a chance, and today again I think we were giving them a hard time, and they were giving us a hard time and we battled through it," he said. "Hopefully we can build on it and move forward from here, come back on Monday and play the same way."

The Senators play the third game of a five-game homestand Monday against the Detroit Red Wings; the Rangers host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.

Prior to the game, there was a moment of silence and the French national anthem was played to honor the victims of the attacks in Paris on Friday.

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