What a game . . .
I’ll tell you. This was the most exciting game I’ve watched in a very long time. My own personal hyperbole cannot begin to describe. It made me stop, it made me start. I ceased to think, I began to feel. It made me yell, and for one long moment, it made me believe. It came down to a one-goal lead and a push for the tying goal that seemed to last forever. But then, it ended abruptly. Tonight, the Ottawa Senators fell to the New York Rangers 2-1, ending one of the tightest 7-game series that I can remember.
The first period saw a lot of action on both ends of the ice, with Craig Anderson making a big save on a two-on-one inclucing Brad Richards to Marian Gaborik, and Henrik Lundqvist stopping Kyle Turris which turned into a great chance on net from Michael Del Zotto. In an intense period, shots were in Ottawa’s favour 10-8, with the score tied at 0-0.
In the second period, off of a pinch by Jarrod Cowen to finish his check. New York opened the scoring at 4:46 on a goal by a streaking Marc Staal for a 1-0 New York lead. Just over 4 minutes later, Dan Girardi would make the score 2-0 by trailing on a New York break beginning from Ottawa’s blueline. After being thwarted earlier in the period on a deflection of a shot by Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, at 11:34 on the powerplay, would cut the lead in half with a shot from high-left side, making the score 2-1. After Anderson would make a last second save on Anton Anisimov, shots on goal after two periods would stand in New York’s favour at 20-18.
And then, the third period. Both teams traded scoring chances to begin, with Milan Michalek twice robbed by Lundquvist down low, the last chance on a takeaway by Alfredsson in the corner on the penalty kill. Anderson would stymie Brandon Dubinsky, before Michalek would find himself in position time and time again to tie the score into the final minutes of the game. After pulling Anderson, Ottawa would continue to hold pressure until New York would get the puck out of the zone, forcing Sergei Gonchar to take a tripping penalty to keep the score at 2-1. From here, the clock would wind down, with the Rangers proving victorious.
Which ends the season . . .
Again, that final push for the tie by the Senators tonight was utterly enthrawling. For a long moment, it seemed like it would prove fruitful with a repeat of last night’s overtime game with Boston and Washington in the works. But tonight, King Henry stood tall. Now tonight, New York outshot, outblocked, outhit Ottawa, along with holding the edge in the faceoff circle. Meaning the Rangers were fully deserving of the win tonight and the win in the series. But Ottawa showed that spark they showcased all season and tried their best to brew up one more comeback. It really was a thrilling way to end the game, but of course also the season. Despite sporadic troubles on the puck, especially when trying to clear the zone, and lapses in positioning which did lead to New York’s two goals for the night, Ottawa brought their game and threw everything they possibly had against a very stalwart and defensive New York team.
Finally, tonight Daniel Alfredsson played one of the grittiest playoff games he has ever played. Like there was no tomorrow. Whether this is the case or not is still in the air, but after scoring to put the Sens on the scoresheet, he played physical, and was in on the check. If this is his last game in the leauge, and here’s hoping it isn’t, it was very apparent that he laid it all on the line and left nothing on the ice. Alfie was a man on fire tonight.
Well, folks . . .
It’s been an emotional night for this hockey fan, and hopefully I caught the game for those of you in a nutshell. Until my end-of-season Sens blog.