By Jim Cerny, BlueshirtsUnited.com
The Rangers squandered an early 2-0 lead, as well as a prime chance to put a stranglehold on their best-of-seven playoff series with the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night at Scotiabank Place, before losing 3-2 on a Kyle Turris goal 2:42 into overtime. The series, now even 2-2, returns to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Saturday night.
Turris scored off the rush, ripping a left-wing shot over the glove of Henrik Lundqvist for the overtime winner as the Senators scored the final three goals of the game Wednesday night. Turris scored moments after Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson had made a sterling save on Ryan McDonagh to start the overtime period. Anderson finished with 31 saves, including three in overtime, while Lundqvist stopped 28 of 31 shots.
The Blueshirts have now lost seven straight post-season overtime games, including two in this series already. Their last playoff overtime win came on April 29, 2007 in a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
The Rangers raced to a 2-0 lead, scoring a pair of power play goals just 6:10 into the opening period as the referees set the tone for a tightly-called game on Wednesday. Ottawa's Zach Smith was whistled for boarding McDonagh just 39 seconds into the contest, and ten seconds later Anton Stralman converted a rebound of Marian Gaborik's shot for his second goal of the series to give the Rangers a quick 1-0 lead.
Sens defenseman Erik Karlsson then was penalized for tripping Artem Anisimov at 5:45, and the Rangers made it an early 2-for-2 on the power play when Ryan Callahan chipped a loose puck past Anderson at 6:10 for his second goal of the playoffs. Gaborik and Brad Richards assisted on both goals, and it seemed as though the Blueshirts were well on their way to a 3-1 series lead.
However the Senators steadied themselves as the first period wore on and even though they entered the first intermission trailing 2-0, they had pulled even in shots at 12 apiece and had begun to control the puck and the play more and more.
The Senators scored 7:04 into the second period---ending Lundqvist's shutout streak at 87:04---just seconds after killing off a Rangers power play. Just out of the penalty box Matt Carkner led a rush up ice that ended with his neat pass to Milan Michalek, who finished for his first goal of the post-season.
Ottawa then scored on a power play of its own late in the second period to pull even 2-2 and send the towel-waving crowd into a frenzy at Scotiabank Place. Seregi Gonchar's slap shot found its way past Lundqvist as Marc Staal desperately tried to keep Turris away from the Rangers net with 2:10 to play in the middle stanza, setting the stage for the intense finish to Game Four.
The Rangers received a major scare shortly before Gonchar's tying goal when Gaborik lost his edge and crashe dhard into the boards behind Ottawa's net. Flexing his right arm as he skated off the ice, Gaborik was clearly shaken up. But fortunately he returned for his first shift after the Senators power play goal.
Gaborik, in fact, might have been the Rangers best player in the scoreless third period, pushing desperately to try and put the Blueshirts ahead. Anderson stopped 11 shots in the third period, including a sensational all-out diving save to his right to smother an open chance for Richards. Lundqvist denied nine shots in the third, including a lightning-quick burst across his crease to rob a wide-open Chris Phillips.