OTTAWA – The Rangers are on the brink as Kyle Turris scored the overtime winner at 6:28 to hand the Rangers a 5-4 loss and put them in a 3-2 series hole.
Henrik Lundqvist was flat on his back, stunned for a moment that this happened yet again, for the second time this series and the third time in these playoffs. Again the Rangers had a late lead slip away in a 6-on-5 situation, and this time it was friend-turned-foe Derick Brassard landing the gut-punch with 1:26 left in the third period to tie the game at 4.
Lundqvist initially saved a Clarke MacArthur shot, but a puck that went off Brassard went off of Tanner Glass and then hit Brendan Smith’s skate. Lundqvist desperately tried to keep the puck out and got a piece with a lunging glove but not enough.
Michael Grabner had a goal waved off at 4:12 of overtime because he hit the puck in with a high stick.
Rookie Jimmy Vesey had given the Rangers a 4-3 lead with 7:12 left in the third, laying out to swat in a loose puck with one hand on his stick. Craig Anderson gloved the shot and the call on the ice was initially no goal, but it was immediately reviewed and video replay showed the puck clearly crossing the line, giving Vesey his first career postseason goal.
The Rangers have scored at least four goals in their last four games, the first time doing so in the playoffs since the first round in 1994 against the Islanders.
Two Ottawa strikes within 33 seconds in the second period put the Rangers behind 3-2 before Ryan McDonagh tied the game with 2:11 left in the second. Michael Grabner’s spin-o-rama shot was tipped in by McDonagh in the crease, a play which developed off strong puck work by Kevin Hayes.
It looked early on as if the Rangers were going to have as easy of a time in this one as they did the previous two games back home, taking a 2-0 lead just 5:13 into the game.
Jesper Fast was wide open in the left circle at 4:07 when Brendan Smith fed him off the rush, the Swede finishing the layup to open the scoring. Just more than a minute later, Vesey stole the puck from former Ranger Viktor Stalberg in the neutral zone and dished to a streaking Nick Holden, who ripped a shot high, off iron and in, scoring a first-period goal for the second straight game.
All of 50 seconds passed before the Senators pulled one back. Henrik Lundqvist played the puck from behind his net up the left boards where it was picked off by Zack Smith. Lundqvist saved Chris Wideman’s shot but a short rebound in front couldn’t be cleared, and Mark Stone slow-rolled a puck past the goal line.
Guy Boucher decided to dust off Chris Neil for this one, and the goon ended up costing the Senators a power play when he raced over to Tanner Glass after a Glass interference infraction and started swinging away. Neil was assessed a roughing minor and a 10-minute misconduct.
During the misconduct the Sens hit for two quick ones. Rick Nash had the puck stolen in the offensive zone and Erik Karlsson took it the other way. He left a drop pass for Clarke MacArthur who found a wide-open Mike Hoffman in the right circle for a one-timer as Vesey drifted toward the middle while backchecking. Tom Pyatt then redirected a Zack Smith shot through Lundqvist at 8:50 of the second.
STARS OF THE GAME
1. Kyle Turris
Scored at 6:28 of overtime for his second goal and fourth point of the series. Had his initial shot blocked by Dan Girardi before beating Henrik Lundqvist under his left pad.
2. Erik Karlsson
Three assists, plus-3
Didn’t play in the third period while banged up on Thursday and has been playing through heel fractures, but he played 31:09 and assisted on both the tying and winning goals.
3. Jimmy Vesey
His first career postseason goal put the Rangers ahead 4-3 with 7:12 left, laying out to swat a loose puck in with one hand on his stick. Craig Anderson gloved it, but video review showed the puck crossed the line.
The tying goal by Derick Brassard with 1:26 left in regulation, another late lead blown by the Rangers, the second time in the series and the third time in the playoffs they’ve given up a tying goal in a 6-on-5 situation.
Tanner Glass, who was minus-3 after his big two-assist game on Thursday and was on the ice for the Senators’ tying and winning goals.
STAT OF THE DAY
5. Rookies Brady Skjei and Jimmy Vesey each have five points, marking only the second time in the last 30 years the Rangers have had two rookies each record at least five points in a postseason. Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast did it two years ago.
Nick Holden, who scored a first-period goal for the second straight game, putting the Rangers up 2-0 at 5:13 of the first, 1:06 after Jesper Fast opened the scoring by burying a pass from Brendan Smith.