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Season Comes to An End With Loss to Senators in Game 6

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

The Rangers season came to an end with a 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Ottawa won the best-of-seven series 4-2.

Mika Zibanajead and Chris Kreider scored, while Henrik Lundqvist finished with 22 saves in the loss.

"Right now all you feel is disappointment and it's a numb feeling," Lundqvist said. "It's not a great feeling. You realize how much work and how many hours you put into this to put yourself in this spot to get this chance. You started in July, last summer, to start to train and to prepare. It was right there for us."

After scoring first in the first five games of the series, it was the Senators who found twine first in Game 6, starting with Mike Hoffman's tally just 4:27 into the contest. Hoffman got a piece of an Erik Karlsson shot that beat Lundqvist up high to give Ottawa just its third lead of the series.

The Senators would double their lead just over 10 minutes later when Mark Stone's wrist shot beat Lundqvist at 14:44 of the opening frame. The goal was challenged by Alain Vigneault for offside, but was deemed legal.

"We came out slow, it's as simple as that," said Ryan McDonagh. "We can't put ourselves in a hole, but we did and I don't know why. We were all pretty focused in here, saying the right things. But it's a difference between saying and doing, and that showed up on the ice."

Video: OTT@NYR, Gm6: Zibanejad breaks in, roofs wrister

The Rangers got one back midway through the second period when Mats Zuccarello hit Zibanejad with a pass to spring the center on a breakaway. Zibanejad beat his former teammate Craig Anderson top shelf to cut the Rangers' deficit to 2-1 at 13:32 of the second.

But Ottawa answered quickly when Erik Karlsson scored his second of the series 2:21 later to reestablished the Senators' two-goal advantage.

Video: OTT@NYR, Gm6: Kreider tallies on strong solo effort

Kreider got the Rangers back to within a goal 53 seconds into the third period when he too beat Anderson on a breakaway, this time low stick side for his third of the playoffs.

The Rangers had a golden opportunity to even the score when the Senators were whistled for too many men on the ice at 6:29 of the third, but New York was unable to capitalize. The Rangers went 0-for-3 with the man advantage, including a double minor early in the first period after Ottawa had taken a one-goal lead.

Despite outshooting the Senators 15-5 in the third period, the Rangers were unable to find the equalizer. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored an empty-net goal with 6.2 seconds left.

It was a feeling of regret inside the Rangers dressing room, as the team must cope with surrendering leads late in Games 2 and 5, both of which resulted in overtime losses that put the Rangers on the brink of elimination heading into Game 6.

"I don't know if I've really ever gone through a series like this where we seemed to shoot ourselves in the foot as far as closing games out or not playing well in crucial situations," McDonagh said. "We have nobody to blame but ourselves and that's the truth of the situation."

Vigneault said the series came down to plays Ottawa made that his group did not.

"At the end of the day the four games we lost in this series it's as simple as them making one more play defensively or one more play offensively," he said. "We were in all of those games, we didn't make the defensive play when we needed to and we didn't make the offensive play to bury them. You have to give them a lot of credit. They played well and they deserved to win."

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