Lehner, Senators slip past charged-up Rangers
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Robin Lehner stopped 41 shots, including 13 in the third period, and Jason Spezza notched the deciding goal early in the second period, as Ottawa claimed a 3-2 decision over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Mark Stone and Mika Zibanejad also tallied for the Senators, who shook off the memory of Friday's 7-4 home loss to Montreal.
"This was a good response from the group. Robin played really well. It was a difficult one for us to lose the way we did last night," Spezza noted. "We know this has been a disappointing year and haven't played to expectations but we have three games left and still want to win them."
Mats Zuccarello netted both goals for the Rangers, who could have clinched a playoff berth with a single point but instead remained four points up on the Flyers for home ice in the first round.
Henrik Lundqvist came up with 31 saves in the loss.
"It's obviously very disappointing," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said in reference to his club failing to lock up a postseason berth. "We are still in a good spot here. It's in our hands to get that win in our next game at home and hopefully secure home ice in the first round."
Spezza provided a 3-1 edge for the Senators at the 8:27 mark of the second, just over three minutes after Zuccarello's first marker brought the hosts within one.
Erik Karlsson's stick reach prevented a Rangers' clear from leaving the zone, and he threw a puck on net. Spezza kept digging along with Milan Michalek in the crease, and the Ottawa captain was credited with the score.
Zuccarello cut the Rangers' deficit back to one at 11:55, leaping in front of Lehner at the left side of the crease and getting a piece of Marc Staal's point blast.
Lehner stood tall in the final stanza, withstanding four separate bursts of heavy pressure, including one in the final seconds of regulation.
"They were really helping me clear rebounds because I saw most of those pucks," said Lehner. "The Rangers had some really good chances but we played better."
Stone's marker -- a wrister in the slot off a dish from Clarke MacArthur -- with 7:15 remaining in the first put the visitors on the board, then Zibanejad doubled the advantage 2:37 before intermission.
Zuccarello's first strike of the game occurred at the 5:25 mark of the second, when he tipped in a John Moore shot which was also deflected en route by Benoit Pouliot.
Both clubs are in action on Tuesday, as the Senators head to Uniondale, while the Rangers host Carolina ... Zuccarello collected his third multi-goal effort of the season and first since Jan. 26 against the New Jersey Devils ... Lehner matched his 41-save performance in a March 22 loss at Dallas, and won by making 40-or-more saves for the first time since stopping 46 pucks in a 5-4 victory at St. Louis on Feb. 4.
04/06 00:13:30 ET