The Rangers modest three game winning streak is at an end, as well as their four game streak at MSG. The red-hot Senators came in and seemingly just outlasted the Rangers, coming back from a 1-0 deficit to record a 2-1 win and move into 11th in the East. For their part, New York missed an opportunity to jump over the Hurricanes and Penguins into fifth, and remain anchored at 84 points in seventh spot.
It was the fifth win in a row for Ottawa, who are now just seven points out of a playoff spot with ten games remaining on their schedule. While a playoff spot still remains a longshot, their play under new coach Cory Clouston has given them a chance.
The winning goal came off the stick of Ryan Shannon, an area native, who used to go to Rangers games with his dad. The 26 year old Shannon has bounced around a bit, but is finally getting his chance with the Senators and earned the first star last night.
It was an inconsistent effort from the Blueshirts, with most of their high paid players looking tired. Ryan Callahan was again amongst the best for New York, and along with Nik Antropov, generated the best scoring chances. They also failed to convert on six power play chances, getting just four shots with the man advantage.
To make matters worse, they also lost Michal Rozsival during the second period to what appears to be a knee injury. Rozsival was checked hard into the boards and skated off the ice without putting any weight onto his left leg. The veteran defender then hobbled off to the locker room not to return. The Rangers today recalled rookie defenseman Michael Sauer from Hartford in case Rozsival can’t go tomorrow.
The 22 year old Sauer was drafted in the second round – 40th overall – of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and looks a good chance to make his NHL debut tomorrow night. It was an interesting decision given the previous call-ups of Corey Potter and Bob Sanguinetti. Brian Fahey also was theoretically in the mix having improved his game after a slow start and injuries.
Pack Lose 5-3
The Wolf Pack are still in first place in the Atlantic Division, though the lead is now down to one point following last night’s 5-3 loss to the Providence Bruins. Miika Wiikman sat out the game after leaving Saturday’s 7-2 win in the second period. Matt Zaba dressed as backup, but the Pack went with ECHL call-up Maxime Daigneault. Daigneault allowed four goals on 29 shots, as the Pack gave up a 2-0 first period lead.
With two games in the books, the Knights and Otters shift the series to Erie for Game 3 Wednesday. Michael Del Zotto (5 assists) and the Knights hold a 2-0 series advantage over Mitch Gaulton and the Otters.