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Mastery at Ottawa comes to an end

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
By Jim Cerny,

Prior to Thursday's contest against the Senators in Ottawa, the Rangers spoke about wanting to find their collective game again and nip in the bud a recent spate of subpar play. However, despite an early lead, the Rangers were unable to find themselves Thursday night, losing a 4-1 decision to the Senators, a loss that drops them to 1-2-1 in their last four games.

Down a goal in the third period, a Rangers turnover led to an Ottawa rush that culminated in a Kyle Turris goal off a rebound at 5:53, effectively putting the visitors away for the night. Jason Spezza found the empty net with 1:27 to play. The Rangers have now lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since since December 13th and 15th.

Rookie goalie Ben Bishop won his second straight start for the Sens, finishing with 25 saves. Martin Biron started for the Rangers and stopped 18 of 21 shots.

The Rangers scored the first goal of the game, but their lead lasted only 1:14, and they soon thereafter found themselves trailing on the scoreboard despite holding a big advantage in shots on goal.

Brad Richards made a gorgeous cross-ice pass to a cutting Ryan Callahan, and the Rangers captain directed the puck past Bishop while diving towards the net just 4:36 into the game. The goal was Callahan's 26th of the season, and the assist was just one of a string of pretty passes made by Richards in the game.

However Ottawa took advantage of a Rangers' giveaway just outside their own blueline shortly after Callahan's goal to pull even 1-1 at 5:50. Zach Smith accepted a Erik Condra pass and blasted a left wing shot past Biron for his 14 goal.

Before the first period ended Ottawa grabbed the lead when Nick Foligno converted a rebound in front of Biron at the 18:50 mark for his 14th goal. Despite being outshot 8-4 in the first period, the Senators entered the first intermission leading 2-1.

The Rangers proceeded to outshoot Ottawa 9-3 in the second period, but failed to get the puck past Bishop. Marian Gaborik also hit a pair of posts in the period.

Brandon Dubinsky sat out the game due to a nose/sinus issue,a result of his fight Tuesday against New Jersey's Ryan Carter. Dubinsky was replaced by John Mitchell in the Rangers lineup.
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