Rangers resilient in comeback win over Ottawa; Holden and Stepan score twice

Alexandra Russo


Following two consecutive losses prior to the Christmas break, the New York Rangers rebounded with an impressive, come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night.

The Ottawa Senators came out flying, as they scored on their first two shots on goal of the game. Just 2:02 seconds in, Borowiecki ripped a shot past Raanta, who was playing because came down with the flu. Raanta was screened by four players in front and didn’t see the puck as it flew past him. Just a minute and three seconds later, Smith notched his eighth of the season from Karlsson and Stone. Smith picked up a pass in front and put it behind Raanta with no one covering him.

A while later, Marc Staal and Kyle Turris both committed minor penalties, so the teams played a brief four on four. It was during this time that Nick Holden gave his team some life on a sharp-angle shot from right circle that beat Mike Condon above his shoulder, slicing the lead in half. McDonagh and Hayes had the assists on the goal, which was Holden’s fifth of the season.

It wasn’t long until the Senators struck again, this time with a shot from the circle from Cody Ceci that beat Raanta top shelf. Raanta had some fault in this one, as it looked to be stoppable but there was a Senator screening him. In any case, the Sens took their second two goal lead of the game.

The second period saw a fast start for the boys in blue, as they went on their first power play of the game. They struggled to get through neutral ice for most of it, but towards the end, they had a final push. After a huge struggle in front, Stepan found the puck in a scramble and put it home past Condon for a one goal game once again.

On a controversial penalty call, the Rangers went on their first penalty kill of the game, and they played it well. However, Raanta was the story of this one, as he robbed Ceci on a two on one down low. He stretched himself across the crease as far as he possibly could, and Ceci dinged the puck off the post. It went sliding across the goal line before it found the inside of Raanta’s pads and stayed there.

With less than half of the middle period to be played, the Rangers took two penalties to the Senators’ one and went on their second penalty kill of the game. JT Miller had a great chance, but his spin-o-rama was blocked on the attempted pass on the two on one.

The New York Rangers are nothing if but resilient. They erased two separate two goal deficits while scoring their first power play goal in the last six games. On a goaltender interference call, Derek Stepan was able to notch his second of the game and ninth of the season. Ryan McDonagh helped his team with his third assist of the game, making a hard pass to Zuccarello after a faceoff win. Zuccarello made a good pass to Stepan for a deflection, and the crowd went wild for a tie game.

But if you thought the crowd went crazy for that one, you should have heard them blow the roof off for Nick Holden’s second of the game that finally gave the Rangers their first lead of the night. He was able to stuff the puck in after multiple attempts by the corner of the net. The goal stood after a coaches challenge for offsides.

The Senators seemed to have gotten close with the posts over the course of the night. They rang it off the post from one corner and had it ding off the other. In the final minute of play, Nick Holden blocked a shot that was almost sure to have gone in, and Raanta didn’t have to make a save, as his team won it 4-3.

This come from behind victory is an important one for the New York Rangers. It showed off some of their depth, saw the team make a successful adjustment after a poor first period, and demonstrated their reiliancy.

Originally, the game looked like the previous two. No chances, barely any shots, and barely any defense. But the team came alive (probably due to Derek Stepan berating his teammates) and stayed focused through periods two and three when they tied up the game and took the lead.

Despite a slow start in net for Antti Raanta, as well, he played a phenomenal game after giving up those three early. His precision in tracking the puck (and standing on his head at points) allowed the team to focus on their offense and pull off a win, bringing their home record to a respectable 13-6-1. Their next matchup is against the Coyotes in Arizona when they look to start stacking up the wins heading into 2017.

Posted on December 28, 2016, in Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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