Rapid Reaction: Rangers 3, Senators 2
April, 23, 2012
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
At a glance: Forty minutes removed from the brink of elimination, the Rangers rallied back from a 1-0 first-period deficit to tally three goals in the second period and push past the Senators for a 3-2 win at Scotiabank Place. Held off the scoresheet for the first five games of the series, Derek Stepan finished with a goal and two assists to tie the series 3-3 and ensure the Blueshirts return to Broadway for Game 7 on Thursday. The Senators scored to pull within a goal with 38.4 seconds remaining but couldn't complete the comeback.
Three-goal second: After falling behind 1-0 in the first period, the Rangers rattled off three straight goals against Senators netminder Craig Anderson. Brad Richards found Derek Stepan at the left post at 8:55 for the power-play equalizer and tallied his own man-up goal later in the period with Nick Foligno in the box for a goaltender interference call that ignited the ire of the Ottawa crowd. With a one-goal lead, rookie winger Chris Kreider recorded his first NHL goal, finishing a beautiful cross-ice pass from Stepan with less than 41 seconds to play in the second.
Angry fans: The hostile crowd at Scotiabank Place was livid after a goaltender interference call on Foligno that resulted in the Ranger’s go-ahead power-play goal. Sens fans taunted refs after the call, after Richards’ ensuing power-play marker and as the teams headed to the dressing room for second intermission.
Comeback for captain: Alfredsson returned to the Senators lineup after missing three games with a concussion sustained from Carl Hagelin’s hit in Game 2. The 39-year-old Swede was held off the scoresheet.
Early lead: With Mike Rupp in the box for roughing, the Senators took a 1-0 first-period lead with Chris Neil’s power-play marker. Neil was camped out in front of Henrik Lundqvist, where he got a piece of Sergei Gonchar’s blast from the point at 7:05. After failing to secure a lead in regulation in the first four games of the series, the Senators scored the game’s first goal in the past two contests.
Playing to the crowd: Presumably in retribution for Neil’s hit on Brian Boyle that left the key center with a concussion in game 5, Rangers tough guy Brandon Prust goaded Neil to drop the gloves 15:10 into the first period. Neil played the role of showman, waving his arm toward the crowd to rile them up both during the fight and on his trip to the penalty box.