Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Senators 4

March, 18, 2014
Mar 18
10:07
PM ET
Following a frustrating shutout loss to the San Jose Sharks Sunday afternoon, the New York Rangers found the offensive spark they had been missing with a season-high eight goals in an 8-4 win over the struggling Ottawa Senators Tuesday night.

Both Derick Brassard and Rick Nash finished with two goals apiece and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist recorded his 302nd NHL win, which makes him the franchise’s all-time wins leader.

Lundqvist passed legendary Mike Richter for the milestone victory. He is one of only six active goaltenders in the National Hockey League with more than 300 wins.

More important than personal accolades, however, is that the Rangers made a move up the standings, climbing back into the top three teams in the Metropolitan Division standings.

Getting help: The Rangers had to like what they saw on the scoreboards elsewhere around the league Tuesday night, considering two close Metropolitan Division opponents -- New Jersey and Columbus -- both lost in regulation.

Floodgates open: Energized by Brassard’s game-tying goal midway through the second period, the Rangers turned an inspired performance in the middle frame into a 5-2 lead. Though New York tallied four times on Robin Lehner in the middle frame, snakebitten Martin St. Louis was not among the goal scorers. The 38-year-old veteran almost got his first goal as a Ranger, with his stick just a few inches from getting a piece on Ryan McDonagh’s blast that wrapped up the team’s offensive outburst with less than 16 seconds left in the period.

Late change: Former Islanders prospect Nathan Lawson replaced Lehner in the third period after Lehner’s ugly second period, but Lehner had to come back into the game late in the third after an apparent injury to Lawson. Goaltending hasn’t exactly been a strength of Ottawa’s this season. With starter Craig Anderson out with an upper-body injury, Lehner was 7-12-5 entering Tuesday’s action with a .910 save percentage and 3.13 goals-against average.

Chipping in: When quizzed about his scoring slump earlier this week, Nash said he’d have to find other ways to contribute if he wasn’t scoring goals, citing his penalty-killing efforts as a way of helping the team. Turns out he killed two birds with one stone Tuesday night when he tallied the team’s fourth short-handed goal in the past eight games, snapping a five-game goal drought of his own in the process. The Rangers’ seventh-ranked penalty kill has been terrific of late; until Mika Zibanejad’s goal that made it 2-1 in the first period, the Rangers had not surrendered a power-play goal in eight consecutive games.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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