Rangers Defeat Ottawa in Game 3 at The Gardenby Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com
It was good to be home.
The Rangers topped the Senators, 4-1, at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, and now trail Ottawa 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Game 4 is Thursday night at The Garden.
All four forward lines scored for the Rangers, including a goal and an assist from Mats Zuccarello, as New York turned in the 60-minute effort they said they needed after two straight losses in Ottawa.
"We played a solid first period and we came out strong," said Zuccarello, who opened the scoring 5:31 into the game off a pass from Mika Zibanejad. "I think that we set the tone right away.
Video: OTT@NYR, Gm3: Zuccarello buries Zibanejad's feed
"We came out strong and that was good to see."
The Rangers would extend their lead to two before the end of the first when Michael Grabner caught Craig Anderson out of position behind the net. The winger took the puck behind the cage and tucked it in before the netminder got back to his crease.
Video: OTT@NYR, Gm3: Grabner slips puck past Anderson
New York withstood a push from Ottawa to start the second period and eventually extended their lead to four, starting with Rick Nash, who broke in on a 2-on-1 with Derek Stepan and fired a wrist shot that beat Anderson stick side at 12:21 of the middle frame.
Video: OTT@NYR, Gm3: Nash finishes a two-on-one rush
Oscar Lindberg capped the scoring with his first career playoff goal with 1:43 to play in the second period.
Ottawa's lone goal came on a tally from Jean-Gabriel Pageau with 1:11 left in the second period. It was his fifth goal in two games.
Depth has been a staple of the Rangers' success this season and it was on display in Game 3, as nine different Rangers had at least a point.
"I think that's something that's been talked about throughout the season and coming into the playoffs that we have good depth," said Zibanejad, who had six shots on goal in 17:14 of ice time and was given the Broadway Hat. "All lines can produce and really chip in offensively. All lines can do a good job defensively as well. We're not going to have every line score every night but we did a really good job tonight."
Captain Ryan McDonagh said he was pleased with his team's effort in all facets of the ice in what was one of the team's most complete efforts of the postseason.
"It seemed like we never really strayed too far from one another on the ice," said McDonagh, who had a game-high 26:62 of ice time. "Never got out of sync with our changes. Special teams we had some looks on the power play … Penalty killing was good for us there when it needed to be. I just think we did a good job of not allowing them to get to the strength of their game and that's got to continue for us."
Head coach Alain Vigneault said he felt his team benefitted from the extra day between Games 2 and 3, and his players certainly felt that time away helped from forget the disappointment of Saturday's double overtime loss.
"It was actually really good to get an extra day to kind of get away from everything and regroup and then yesterday we prepared for this game," said Henrik Lundqvist, who made 26 saves. "I think everybody understood the importance of this one and we came out in the first period and set the tone."
Now, though, the Rangers are in a position to even the series with a victory Thursday night in Game 4.
"There's no doubt that we had to bounce back tonight," Vigneault said. "We were able to get a good practice in yesterday and focus on our process and what we had to do. That's what we did, we came to play. We won this game, now we're going to focus on the next one."