Rangers' second-period outburst sinks Senators
OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators were reminded just how quickly things can change Saturday night.
Ottawa went from leading 2-0 to trailing 5-2 in a span of 11:03 in the second period and that was ultimately the difference as the New York Rangers spanked the Senators 7-2.
“It is frustrating because I think we gave them the win,” said Ottawa interim head coach Jacques Martin. “We’re in a good situation and you face a little bit of adversity, but you’ve got to build resistance to that and, you know, be able to stick with it. It seems like we lost our composure, we lost our compete level.”
The Rangers were led by Artemi Panarin, who had a goal and two assists. Alexis Lafreniere, Chris Kreider, Zac Jones, Jonny Brodzinski, Blake Wheeler and Kaapo Kakko scored for the Rangers (30-16-3), who were coming off a 5-2 loss to Vegas on Friday night. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for the visitors.
The Rangers are 9-0-0 in the second half of back-to-back games.
“Tonight, with playing last night, (facing) a rested team in their building, travel, short a few players, that’s a big win,” said Rangers coach Peter Laviolette.
“The efforts in the second games have been like they (were) tonight. They’ve been on point. Their work ethic has been really good and we’ve been able to win in some tough situations.”
Tkachuk dropped the gloves with Connor Mackey after taking exception to a clean hit on Tim Stutzle and could only watch as his team gave up three goals.
“I mean, it’s a clean hit, obviously if it was dirty then it would have been a penalty, but I just never like seeing Timmy get hit, get knocked over,” said Tkachuk.
“He’s a pretty strong kid and for him to get knocked over it’s … no matter who it is don’t want anybody taking a run at one of our best players. I wanted to stand up for him and I know guys would do the same for me.”
Lafreniere opened the scoring when the puck bounced off the back boards into Joonas Korpisalo and he grabbed the loose puck and tucked it in. Kreider tied the game with a shot from the top of the circle. Mika Zibanejad picked up his 500th point as a Ranger on the play.
The Rangers scored 39 seconds later when Jones took a cross-ice pass from Panarin and 2:04 later made it 4-2 on Brodzinksi’s second of the season. That was the end of Korpisalo’s night after allowing four goals on 17 shots.
Martin didn’t take issue with his captain being in the box, but he did have a problem with the team’s response.
“He stepped up defending one of his teammates so I think, you know, you should have a different response from your teammates,” said Martin.
“So that’s what I’m disappointed by, was the response that we got. We gave them three goals. It’s a situation where you’ve got to stay the course and be prepared to compete harder.”
In the third period Panarin added an empty-net goal and Kakko rounded out the scoring with a late goal.
“We need to learn from this,” said Claude Giroux, who picked up his 700th career assist on Ottawa’s first goal. “We need to know that when that happens we need to react differently and get back on our toes and just play the way that we know works for us. We didn’t do that tonight.”
Ottawa D Travis Hamonic is out with an upper-body injury, while Dominik Kubalik and Zack MacEwen were healthy scratches. New York’s Jacob Trouba served the first of a two-game suspension for elbowing Vegas Golden Knights forward Pavel Dorofeyev.
Senators: Host the Nashville Predators on Monday.
Rangers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Feb. 5.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2024.