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Senators show 'character and resiliency' in Game 2 win

Defeat Rangers in second overtime after trailing by two goals three times

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators trailed the New York Rangers by two goals three times in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

But as they had done numerous times this season, the Senators battled back to win, this time 6-5 in the second overtime to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"At that moment, you've got the choice: Lay down and you hope that time passes by and your shame goes away, or you just get up and find a way, and that's what we've done all year," Senators coach Guy Boucher said. "The players have made it a choice all year to reload and rebound from one 10-minute (stretch) after another, from doing great or doing badly. What we did tonight is obviously impressive, but we had it against the [Boston] Bruins (in the first round). It's just the players' character and resiliency."


[RELATED: Complete Rangers vs. Senators series coverage]


Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his fourth goal of the game to win it 2:54 into the second overtime, after Ottawa trailed 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3.

"I don't think this was a perfect game for anyone," Senators captain Erik Karlsson said. "It was frustrating at times and it felt like we weren't really executing the way we wanted to. It was a wild one. Sometimes you're going to need something spectacular, and today [Pageau] was the star of the show."

Video: NYR@OTT, Gm2: Pageau snaps in fourth for 2OT win

Defenseman Marc Methot, whose first goal of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs got Ottawa within 3-2 at 14:00 of the second period, said the game showed what the Senators have been about all season. They also showed it in the first round, when they rallied from down two goals in the third period against Boston in Game 2 to win 4-3 when Dion Phaneuf scored early in the first overtime.

"You're always going to have a little doubt maybe kind of creep in a little bit, but at the same time, you counter that with the fact we've done this before," Methot said. "I know that we've had comebacks throughout the season where we just seemed to have those clutch plays at the end of games to get us back into it. Sure enough, you get that fourth goal, you know there's a little life, you start buzzing a little more around their net and you get the fifth, and then it's anybody's game.

"A lot of people were counting us out, a lot of people didn't think we'd even make the postseason, and here we are in the second round and we're winning some games."

Methot said the Senators aren't expecting anything but the Rangers' best in Game 3 on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"We're playing a serious hockey team here," Methot said. "We know how hard it is to play in MSG and they have unbelievable fans. You've got a veteran group over there that I'm pretty sure won't back down and won't give up. We've got to treat this like this series is still 0-0 and keep a very level head about it."

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