Game 5: Senators Win 2-0 Over Rangers

Check out the highlights

There was no need for any buildup; the importance of the game could not be overstated.  The winner would have the ultimate advantage- a solid stranglehold on the series going into Game 6.  The loser was faced with an incredible hill to climb and one they may not be able to overcome.

The first period was all Rangers.  If not for Craig Anderson, New York would’ve put the game away in the first 9 minutes.  The Rangers were swarming the Ottawa net like sharks, getting several in-close chances but were unable to beat No. 41.  The Senators didn’t let it go to waste either as they were able to take the lead for the first time in the series.  Mark Stone, making his NHL debut, sent a slick pass to Jason Spezza, who quickly snapped it through the pads of Henrik Lundqvist to make it 1-0.  It was Spezza’s first goal of the playoffs and Stone’s first ever NHL point.  Ottawa was up 1 after the first 20 minutes, despite being outshot 14-9 and shorthanded 3 times. 

The second period was another goaltender showcase.  Both netminders made some spectacular saves in keeping the score 1-0.  In particular, Anderson made a ridiculous pad save on Brandon Dubinsky in close, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped Milan Michalek trying to go low glove side on a breakaway.

The much debated hit by Chris Neil on Brian Boyle. (In my opinion, the hit is clean.  It is not late, he does not leave his feet prior to the collision & initial contact is with the shoulder area before hitting the head during follow through.)

The Senators sat back for the final 20 minutes, fending off the Ranger attack and clearing the puck any chance they could get.  When Jason Spezza scored into the empty net with 56 seconds left in the game, you could hear a collective sigh amongst the Ottawa faithful.  2-0 was the final as the Senators will return to Scotiabank Place with a chance to end the series on Monday night.

Craig Anderson, Paul MacLean, Jason Spezza & Mark Stone (video)


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