Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Things to know from Monday's games
By Sarah Goldstein
Heading to Game 7: The Rangers rallied to beat the Senators in Ottawa and force a Game 7 back in New York. Derek Stepan, Brad Richards and Chris Kreider scored for the Rangers. The Senators got Daniel Alfredsson back after missing three games, but the captain was held off the scoresheet.
No fan of Neil: There was no love lost between Chris Neil and the Rangers after Neil hit Brian Boyle in Game 5, causing Boyle to suffer a concussion. It didn't make things any better when Neil scored a power-play goal 7:05 into the game to give the Senators the lead. 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.
Get out your checkbook: Henrik Lundqvist was not happy with the goal scored by the Senators with 38.4 seconds left in the third period. Lundqvist felt Neil interfered with him on the play and attempted to kick the puck past the goal line. The goal was ultimately credited to Jason Spezza after a lengthy review. "When it's goalie interference and a kick and they still call it a goal, that scares me," Lundqvist said after the game. He went on to insinuate that there was some collusion going on: "Someone wanted them back in the game, for sure." Coach John Tortorella was fined $30,000 by the league for similar comments.
Phoenix rising: The Coyotes won their first playoff series since the franchise moved to Phoenix, and Mike Smith is a big reason why. Smith stopped 39 shots as the Blackhawks outshot the Coyotes 39-20. Phoenix will face the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference semifinals. The St. Louis Blues play the Los Angeles Kings in the other series out West.
Nothing special: The Hawks continued to be doomed by special teams, going 1-for-19 on the power play in the series. In Game 6, Jimmy Hayes drew a five-minute major for boarding. The Coyotes took advantage and scored their second power-play goal of the night to take a three-goal lead with about seven minutes left in the game.