Sens tie series in thrilling OT win
The Ottawa Senators took on the New York Rangers during the game four of the Eastern Conference playoff series at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa Wednesday April 18, 2012. Ottawa Senator Zenon Konopka looks to tip a puck past Henrick Lundqvist from the New York Rangers net during first period action Wednesday night in Ottawa. Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency
Kyle Turris played the role of hero when the Senators needed one the most.
The earth moved Wednesday night at Scotiabank Place and the momentum in this series shifted in the Senators’ favour as they came back from an early 2-0 deficit to score a gutsy 3-2 OT victory over the New York Rangers.
Turris took a drop pass from Jim O’Brien and beat Henrik Lundqvist high to the glove side at 2:42 of overtime. The series moves back to New York tied 2-2 Saturday and the Senators will be home for Game 6 Monday.
“To score in the Stanley Cup playoffs, in overtime, is something that every kid dreams of,” said Turris. “It was very exciting ... that’s for sure.”
Turris added he got some advice from coach Paul MacLean when fighting the puck in practice Tuesday.
“He’s come up to me in practice, told me not to grip my stick and that it’s going to come,” said Turris. “He told me at the morning skate, ‘Don’t get down on yourself, you’re a good player. The puck is going to come to you. Don’t worry about it’.
“Stuff like that gives you all the confidence in the world and it allowed me to score the goal tonight, I think.”
Already missing captain Daniel Alfredsson, out for the second straight game with a concussion, the Senators lost winger Jesse Winchester with an upper-body injury in the second period.
Sergei Gonchar and Milan Michalek beat Lundqvist on the 30 shots in regulation, while Ryan Callahan and Antron Stralman were the only Rangers to solve Craig Anderson.
After Anderson was forced to make three big stops, it was Turris’ first goal of the playoffs that sent the crowd of 20,340 into hysterics as the Senators put the pressure back on the Rangers.
‘Battled our way back’
“It’s huge. We dug ourselves a bit of a hole, but we battled our way back,” said Anderson. “We found a way to get momentum. The fans really helped with that. They played a big part. We found a way. That’s all that really matters.
“We made a couple of mistakes and they pounced on a couple of bad rebounds by me.”
Trailing 2-0 less than seven minutes into the game, the Senators had every reason to roll over. They didn’t. They battled their way back and tied it up at 17:50 of the second with Gonchar’s first goal of the post-season.
Jason Spezza hurried to the room with 2:50 left in the second when he took a shot to the head from Marc Staal. He returned for the third period.
The Senators hadn’t won a playoff game at home since June 2, 2007 in the Stanley Cup final against the Anaheim Ducks. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak. Defenceman Chris Phillips said the club wasn’t concerned about the losing skid.
“It doesn’t matter how you get the results. It’s unbelievable how every game is the biggest game even when you’re not facing elimination,” said Phillips. “To be tied up 2-2 and have a best-of-three instead of being down 3-1 is huge.”