Ottawa 3, New York Rangers 2 (OT); Binghamton 2, Norfolk 3 (OT)

A rough and tumble game that featured a lot of vicious hits and plays (including Alfredsson getting knocked out by an elbow to the head from Hagelin).  There’s no replacement for Alfredsson (assuming he misses more games), but as Spezza has been completely invisible to this point a return to form from him might make up for it.  A couple of observations: why does Anderson handle the puck so much?  He’s not very good at it and turns it over as often as not; Winchester should not play on the top line.  Here’s the box score.  On the ridiculous side of things, Glenn Healy complained the final icing (which lead to the OT winner) wasn’t an icing, which is about as dumb a comment as he could have come up with.

First Period
Less than three minutes in Matt Carkner‘s night ended as he went after Boyle and got himself and Dubinsky (third man in) kicked out of the game and gave the Rangers a five-minute powerplay.  The Sens had the best chance early, but Condra couldn’t get the feed to Winchester on a 2-on-1.  Winchester had another chance on a near breakaway, but was too out of gas to attack the net and sent his shot wide.  The Sens were able to kill the major penalty allowing the Rangers only one shot.  Neil fought Boyle afterward. Gonchar promptly took a tripping penalty to put the Rangers back on the powerplay and Ottawa was doing a good job on the PK when Anderson baubled a simple shot which the Rangers recovered and then Stralman‘s point shot deflected in off Phillips.  Foligno drew a call for Ottawa’s first powerplay, which had great possession, but wasn’t able to capitalise (the best chance was foiled when Spezza decided to pass instead of shoot).  Foligno had a terrific chance in the final minute, walking in alone on LundqvistPhillips took an elbowing penalty just before the period ended which resulted in Anderson‘s best save of the frame on Callahan.  Ottawa dominated the play, but generated only one good scoring chance and were behind by one.
Second Period
Anderson made a nice stop off Callahan in the back half of the Rangers powerplay.  The Sens had their first chance when the kill was over, but Karlsson missed the net from in the slot.  Ottawa got caught running around in its own zone due to a pair of Gonchar turnovers which was ended by a dumb penalty by Kuba.  The Rangers had a lot of pressure early in the powerplay, but the Sens were able to hold them off.  Michalek nearly put the puck into his own net towards the halfway mark.  The Sens then went to turnover city where they could not get out of their zone, Anderson making a brilliant save on Hagelin;  At the end of the play Alfredsson got an elbow to the head from Hagelin and went down like a shot, giving the Sens a five-minute powerplay.  The first shift of the advantage Prust elbowed Karlsson in the head but there was no call (it was hard to tell if it was intentional or not).  Karlsson took a shift off and then tied the game by banking a puck in off Del Zotto.  Ottawa had one other good chance with the advantage, but Michalek couldn’t bang in a rebound.  Richards took a penalty immediately afterward, unhappy with a Karlsson check he punched him in the face and got called for roughing, but the Sens couldn’t get a shot on goal.  The overall play was more even throughout the period.
Third Period
After a couple of scrambly minutes Gaborik hit the post.  A Winchester giveaway at the blueline resulted in Boyle beating Anderson from the slot.  Two shifts later Phillips can’t hit the empty net with Lundqvist down and out.  The Rangers hit another post close to the midway point.  Ten minutes in and Ottawa hadn’t generated an A-grade scoring chance.  The next shift there was a great scramble in front, but it was whistled down as the ref lost sight of the puck.  The Sens had steady pressure afterwards, eventually scoring on a broken play with Konopka fluttering the puck at the net and Foligno banged it in.  Turris was hurt on the play as he got drilled with a vicious crosscheck from Del Zotto (he did not miss a shift).  Anderson made a nice save after the Rangers got some zone time off a Spezza turnover.
OT
It did not last long, as frantic action in front of the net saw Neil bang in a rebound off a point shot from Cowen (this just after Greening missed sliding the puck into an open net).

Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Rangers, Stralman (pp)
A simple shot deflects off Phillips and beats Anderson five-hole
2. Karlsson (Kuba) (pp)
An innocent rush with Karlsson centering the puck from the corner and bouncing it in off Del Zotto
3. Rangers, Boyle
Winchester turns it over and Boyle simply beats Anderson from the slot
4. Foligno (Turris, Konopka)
A broken play results in Foligno banging the puck home after Konopka puts it to the net
5. Neil (Cowen, Smith)
Cowen’s shot is blocked and Neil buries the puck past a downed Lundqvist

Top-performers:
Nick Foligno – it wasn’t a Picasso, but he scored and generated offence
Erik Karlsson – despite being targeted he helped the Sens control the play and scored the first goal

Players Who Struggled:
Jason Spezza – no points in the series thus far and largely invisible (he also lead the team in turnovers)
Chris Phillips – not a great game for the big rig who deflected a puck into his own net and was on the ice for both Ranger goals

-Binghamton lost their final game of the seaseon 3-2 in overtime.  McKenna made 46 saves in the loss, while Hoffman and Puempel scored the goals.  Here’s the box score and Joy Lindsay‘s game summary.

-Elmira lost 5-0 to Florida tonight, with Brian Stewart pulled and taking the loss and Corey Cowick and Josh Godfrey pointless (Bobby Raymond had two assists for the Everblades).

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