The Ottawa Senators are pleased to be home.
Coming off a catastrophic seven-game, 15-day road trip, the Senators made the most of home ice as they snapped a five-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 3-2 triumph over the New York Rangers.
The victory was only Ottawa’s second in law since Nov. 11. There was no denying the feeling of relief when the final horn sounded.
“I think when that last buzzer went there was a sigh from a great deal of people, fans included,” said Zack Smith, who is third-period goal held as the winner. “It was a fantastic feeling. They’re a great team over there with a fantastic goaltender so it was a huge confidence boost for us.”
Bobby Ryan and Cody Ceci also scored for the Senators (10-13-7). Craig Anderson, with 27 saves, finished a private seven-game losing streak and picked up his first win since Nov. 11.
“It feels great to win,” stated Anderson. “After what we went through I think coming home and putting on the effort we did and getting the results we wanted it is a fantastic feeling in here.”
For the first time since Dec. 1 the Senators scored first and played the whole game with a lead. It obviously made a difference.
Throughout their brutal stretch, the Senators had games where they played well, but seemed to lose all confidence after giving up the first goal and were forced to chase the game.
“We have had a good deal of those games which were just as good, but just did not turn for us,” said head coach Guy Boucher. “Back at home, for the first time in a long time, you might feel the freshness, what you ought to feel at home and due to that our players got the energy and we got the first goal and I thought we defended great. I believed our goalie was outstanding and our lines were great.”
The success is a much-needed spark during a really bleak time.
“We had something,” said Ryan. “We were at the point at which moral victories were not really adding us up so we had to find a way to get two things and you hope that this becomes a landing stag”
Michael Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Rangers (16-12-3) as Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots.
Ottawa took a two-goal lead just eight minutes into the third period as Tom Pyatt, from behind the internet, found Smith before score his second of the year.
The Rangers cut the lead back to a four minutes later as Buchnevich scored his 11th, beating Anderson with a one-timer. Chris Kreider picked up his 200th career point on the play.
The Rangers pulled Lundqvist with just over one minute remaining, but the Senators managed to hold on for the win.
Ottawa regained the lead late in the second after Matt Duchene revealed some terrific patience before locating Ceci wide open for his second goal in as many matches.
“That is five games in a row where Duchene is really good,” said Boucher. “You really can see him picking it up and feeling it and the men getting to know him too so that is the chemistry you need to build.”
Trailing 1-0 the Rangers managed to tie the game in the three-minute mark of the 2nd due in good part to a poor defensive coverage by Erik Karlsson.
Mats Zuccarello managed to locate Grabner who got in behind Karlsson and conquer Anderson from in close.
Ryan opened the scoring for the Senators early in the first period because he managed to bring a pass from Mark Stone and beat Lundqvist with a one-timer for only his second goal of the season. This marked the first time that the Senators opened the scoring in six games.
Notes: Senators RW Alex Burrows was a late scratch and replaced by Nick Paul who had been recalled from AHL Belleville earlier in the afternoon. Lundqvist became the 15th goaltender in NHL history to reach 20,000 career saves during this match.
Courtesy: The Globe And Mail